Na­tional trends

Andy New­ton sifts through the data that mat­ters

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Let’s take a look at the world’s great­est steeple­chase from a trends an­gle. First, de­spite the big field it’s ac­tu­ally a de­cent race for the stat lovers. By sim­ply ap­ply­ing some of the key trends you’ll see very quickly that a lot of horses will strug­gle and the 40 run­ners will rapidly turn into just 10-20 to fo­cus on.

Yes, in a race of this na­ture a cer­tain amount of luck comes into find­ing the win­ner as you might have found 2-3 horses that tick all the main stats only for them to be brought down at the first by an­other horse. How­ever, that’s the na­ture of the Ain­tree marathon, but I’m still a firm be­liever in find­ing the pro­file of horses that have been suc­cess­ful in the past and re-ap­ply­ing those at­tributes to that year’s line-up. I know not ev­ery­one agrees with that, but af­ter-all if some­thing has hap­pened reg­u­larly in the past then, for me, there’s a good chance that will be re­peated – it’s all about putting as many fac­tors in your favour as you can in a race like this.

So, you can see be­low the main key trends, but you will no­tice there are some real ‘stand­outs’. For ex­am­ple, with ALL of the last 24 win­ners hav­ing raced within 55 days then this is a great place to start. Plus, if you want to take that stat a bit fur­ther you’ll see that 19 of those 24 re­cent win­ners ac­tu­ally raced within the last 34 days.

Next up is to look for horses rated 137 or higher as 23 of the last 24 fall into that bracket. Linked in with that stat is the weight car­ried as 19 of the last 24 lumped 10-12 or less round to win. In re­cent years we’ve seen an in­flux of bet­ter class horses tak­ing part and with that we’ve had 4 of the last 6 win­ners car­ry­ing 11-0 or more. But since 1977, 113 horses have tried to win with more than 11-5 – with just one win­ner – Nep­tune Col­longes (11-6) in 2012. With that in mind we can surely put a line through a few more at the head of the weights.

Age has al­ways been a big fac­tor and 13 of the last 24 run­nings go­ing the way of a 9 or 10 year-old then this age range is by far the most con­sis­tent. How­ever, don’t be too wor­ried if your fancy is just a tad older as the last three win­ners have all been 11 years-old. I guess the main age trends to note are that not many 8 year-olds are suc­cess­ful – just Bin­deree and Party Pol­i­tics since 1984, while the last 7 year-old win­ner came way back in 1940!

The mar­ket can of­ten be a good guide too. This year we can ex­pect a flood of money for which ever horse cham­pion jockey AP McCoy rides,be­ing this will be his last ride in the race - it will be a huge shock if he’s not rid­ing the even­tual favourite. Yes, we’ve seen 100/1, 66/1, 33/1 and 25/1 win­ners in the last six years, so don’t worry if your fancy is one of the big­ger priced ones. But also don’t be too wor­ried if you like the favourite. Why? Well, 13 of the last 24 mar­ket lead­ers have been placed, while 21% of favs or j-favs have won, and that’s not a bad strike-rate con­sid­er­ing the com­pet­i­tive na­ture of this race. I guess the ad­vice on re­cent trends when it comes to the price is don’t worry about it too much.

Those are the main stats to ap­ply, but also look for horses that raced in pre­vi­ous Grand Na­tion­als, but not past win­ners, also Ir­ish bred run­ners and horses that ran at Chel­tenham last time out. Fi­nally, a lot of horses that have run well in re­cent years have been cam­paigned over hur­dles ear­lier in the sea­son – this is mainly to pro­tect their chase hand­i­cap mark – 2010 vic­tor, Don’t Push It, and last year’s win­ner, Pineau De Re, are re­cent ex­am­ples of this.

Good luck!

Grand Na­tional Trends (Last 23 Run­nings)

- 24/24 - Ran no more than 55 days ago • 23/24 - Had won over at least 3m (chase) be­fore • 23/24 - Of­fi­cially rated 137 or higher • 22/24 - Aged 9 or older • 22/24 - Had won no more than 6 times over fences be­fore • 19/24 - Car­ried 10-12 OR LESS • 19/24 - Ran no more than 34 days ago • 19/24 - Re­turned a dou­ble-fig­ure price • 18/24 - Came from out­side the top 3 in the bet­ting • 17/24 - Had won be­tween 4-6 times over fences be­fore • 15/24 - Car­ried 10-8 OR LESS • 14/24 - Fin­ished in top 4 last time out • 13/24 - Aged 9 or 10 years-old • 13/24 - Aged 10 years-old or younger • 13/24 - Placed favourites • 12/24 - Won by an Ir­ish-bred horse • 8/24 - Ran at Chel­tenham last time out

• 7/24 - Trained in Ire­land (inc 4 of the last 9 years) • 6/24 - Ran in a pre­vi­ous Grand Na­tional • 5/24 - Won by the favourite or joint favourite • 4/24 - Won last time out • 2/24 - Trained by Nigel Twis­ton-Davies • 2/24 - Rid­den by Ruby Walsh • 0/24 - Won by a horse aged 7 year­sold OR LESS

Ain­tree Grand Na­tional Facts

• The last horse to win with more than 11-6 was Red Rum in 1977 • Since 1977, 113 horses have tried to win with more than 11-5 – with just one win­ner – Nep­tune Col­longes (11-6) in 2012 • 10 of the last 14 win­ners were bred in Ire­land • Only 1 horse that won at the Chel­tenham Fes­ti­val that same sea­son has won since 1961 • The last 7 year-old or younger to win was back in 1940 • The last horse to win back-to-back Na­tion­als was Red Rum in 1974

Grand Na­tional Trends (12Year)

12/12 – Had won over at least 3m pre­vi­ously 12/12 – Won by a horse aged 9 or older 11/12 – Ran less than 50 days ago 10/12 – Of­fi­cially rated 137 or higher 9/12 – Won by horses aged in dou­ble­fig­ures 7/12 – Win­ners from the top 8 in the bet­ting 7/12 – Fin­ished in the top 3 last time out 5/12 – Car­ried 11-0 or more in weight 5/12 – Won by a horse aged 10 6/12 – Ex­pe­ri­enced over Na­tional fences 4/12 – Won by an Ir­ish-trained horse 3/12 – Win­ning favourites (2 joint) 2/12 – Won their last race 2/12 – Won by the McCain yard The av­er­age win­ning SP in the last 12 re­newals is 28/1

Nep­tune Col­longes

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