SELECTABET (@SelectABet) shows us how and where we should be looking for our National winner.
Follow The Trends: How to pick a Grand National winner
I’m going to take you through some of the most consistent trends that recent winners have in common, from their age to how big field experience can all be significant factors in winning the most famous race in the world.
And they’re off! Let’s take a look at which horses can navigate the nine ‘hurdles’ ahead of them…
Fence 1 – Age (9 or Under)
Although two eight year-olds have won in the past three years, the longer term trend points towards looking at older horses for the winner.
23 of the last 27 winners have been aged nine or older, including the 2016 winner Rule The World. 26% of all winners have been nine years-old with the average age of the winner being 9.9.
That immediately allows us to rule out 9 runners;
- Minello Rocco
- Anibale Flyer
- Alpha Des Obeaux
- Shantou Flyer
- Tiger Roll
- The Dutchman
- I Just Know
- Baie Des Iles
- Childrens List
Fence 2 – Ran No More Than 60 Days Ago
An impressive 26 of the last 27 races have been won by horses that have run no more than 55 days before the race.
Only two winners in the last 33 runnings had not run in the last 50 days.
We’re going to keep things a little more open and discount those that haven’t run in 60 days. That means we have to say goodbye to a further 11 horses at this fence.
- Perfect Candidate
- Carlingford Lough
- Warriors Tale
- Gas Line Boy
- Pleasant Company
- Ucello Conti
- Raz De Maree
- Lord Windemere
- Road To Riches
Fence 3 – Won a 3m race
Almost as impressive a trend is the fact that 25 of the last 27 winners had won over at least 3m (chase) before landing the Grand National.
Of the 20 horses remaining at this stage just two have yet to do so;
- Captain Redbeard
- Double Ross
Fence 4 – Weight – Over 10-12
It’s fairly obvious that the less weight a horse has to carry round the four miles 514 yards the better.
And while weight has always been a significant factor recent result have gone some way to buck the trend somewhat.
Recently, Neptune Collonges carried 11st 6lbs to glory in the 2012 Grand National, while in 2015 Many Clouds defied a hefty weight of 11st 9lbs to storm to glory for Oliver Sherwood.
The fact remains however that 21 of 27 recent winners have carried less than 10-12 to victory. So to whittle down the numbers we can discount those above that weight.
- The Last Samuri
- Valseur Lido
- Total Recall
- Tenor Nivernais
Fence 5 – Season Form
80% of the last 10 winners have run at least three times over chase fences that season in the build up to the Grand National.
Of the 12 runners still standing, three have run fewer than three to date.
- Saint Are
Fence 6 – Winning Form
Simply running three miles plus isn’t enough if you want to be a Grand National winner.
In fact nine of the last ten all had a proven record at that distance by winning at least three races, so we can further rule out;
Fence 7 – Big Field Experience
So we’re down to the final eight and the winning line isn’t far away. This hurdle is all about being able to cope with the argy-bargy of the National.
To weed out a few more let’s eliminate those without a win or a place in fields of 15 runners or more.
Fence 8 – Breeding
Although by no means a conclusive stat, we’re now trying to find points of difference between the six horses left.
13 of the last 17 winners were bred in Britain and Ireland so let’s rule out any who’s breeding would exclude them here;
- Vieux Lion Rouge
- Houblon Des Obeaux
Fence 9 – Ran No More Than 50 Days Ago
And then there were four; Regal Encore, Chase The Spud, Bless The Wings, Final Nudge.
But you’re going to want a winner right? OK, how about one last trend to sort the wheat from the chaff?
We’ve already touched on the number of days since a last run, narrowing down the field based on running in the previous 60 days.
Further to that trend 13 of the last 15 winners have run in less than 50 days prior to the Grand National.
The only horse who can stake that claim is Bless The Wings!
So that’s a wrap on how you could, possibly, maybe, almost pick a winner of the Grand National based on the stats and trends.