Andy Newton sifts through the data that matters
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.
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