Ain­tree hints

Nick Pullen analy­ses the Grand Na­tional stats

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

In 2012 I was on Sun­ny­hill­boy at prices as big as 25s. He got touched off into sec­ond by Nep­tune Col­longes right on the line. It was tough to take but the each-way part of my bets of­fered more than suf­fi­cient con­so­la­tion.

The 2013 re­newal de­liv­ered one of my best-ever bet­ting mo­ments when Auro­ras En­core went in for me and my sub­scribers hav­ing been ad­vised the evening be­fore rac­ing at 80s.

Last year we hit the win­ner again when Pineau De Re went in at 25s.

Of course I’d like to put th­ese picks down to in­spired de­duc­tion on my part. And there was a lit­tle sub­jec­tiv­ity in­volved – there al­ways is.But the bot­tom line is that the stats I use to split the Grand Na­tional field pretty much led me by the nose to the horses I backed. Notwith­stand­ing the big prices, all th­ese horses met a large pro­por­tion of the cri­te­rion that his­toric re­newals of the race say is nec­es­sary to win. From that point for­ward it is sim­ply a case of hav­ing suf­fi­cient faith in the stats to back them.

I don’t ex­pect to find an­other strong Grand Na­tional bet at such a big price this year. But I do ex­pect the win­ner and the horses that fin­ish in the frame be­hind it to mea­sure up equally well to the key stats.

If you’re look­ing for a route into this sea­son’s Grand Na­tional field you can do a lot worse than ap­ply the stats be­low (based on the last 12 re­newals of the race) to all 40 run­ners set to go to post. The horses that meet the widest range of stats are the ones that should make your bet­ting short­list...

Your horse should be aged 9 or older – that’s the age range that does best here. All of the last 12 win­ners of the race were aged 9- to 11-years-old – a stat that strongly sug­gests that younger chasers haven’t got the stamina to get the job done in the Ain­tree show­piece. The last 132 horses aged 8 or younger to go to post have pro­duced just 1 win and 10 placed fin­ishes be­tween them.

Your horse should have scored a Rac­ing Post rat­ing of 150+ over fences – 10 of the last 12 win­ners had hit that yard­stick.Eight had pro­duced their ca­reer-best rat­ing in one of last two races. All of the last 12 win­ners had scored their best chas­ing Rac­ing Post rat­ing at 24f+.

Your horse should have chas­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at 28f+ – 10 of the last 12 win­ners of the race had al­ready shown they could op­er­ate at that kind of trip.What is more all of those 10 horses had reg­is­tered a Rac­ing Post rat­ing within 8lbs of the ca­reer top when rac­ing over fences at 28f+.

Your horse should have Grade race ex­pe­ri­ence at 24f+ over fences – 10 of the last 12 win­ners ticked that par­tic­u­lar box.

Look for Grade race ex­pe­ri­ence that sea­son – 6 of the last 7 win­ners had ap­peared in a Grade level chase at some point dur­ing the cur­rent sea­son.

Your horse should have won a chase worth £30k+ to win­ning con­nec­tions – just two of the last 12 win­ners had failed to win a chase of that value at some point in their ca­reers.

Your horse should have won at least 3 chases – all of the last 12 win­ners had pro­duced that num­ber of wins. But you don’t want too much win­ning ex­pe­ri­ence. Ten of the last 12 win­ners had won no more than 5 chases. None of the last 12 win­ners had won more than a third of chases con­tested. Eleven of the last 12 win­ners had won no more than once dur­ing the cur­rent sea­son – 7 hadn’t won a sin­gle chase that term.

A hur­dle run dur­ing the cur­rent sea­son is not a bad sign – a hur­dle run helps a trainer freshen his horse up and keep it tick­ing over with­out re­veal­ing its hand over fences. Nine of the last 12 win­ners ticked this par­tic­u­lar box.

Your horse should have been on a race­track at some point dur­ing the last 8 weeks – all of the last 12 win­ners con­formed to that stat.

Show pref­er­ence for an Ir­ish-bred horse – they have won 9 of the last 12 re­newals of the race.

Ap­ply­ing those stats won’t nec­es­sar­ily point you at a sin­gle horse – but it will split the field and give you a man­age­able short­list of prime con­tenders on which you can fo­cus more closely.

And if there’s a big-priced horse lurk­ing on that list then don’t be afraid to back it each-way if con­di­tions look set to suit. Don’t for­get that bag­ging a big-priced win­ner is pretty much de­pen­dent on your will­ing­ness to back a horse at a big price...

Nick Pullen is the sta­tis­ti­cal an­a­lyst be­hind Win­ning Race Pro­files – a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice that seeks to find win­ners via the stats. For de­tails go to: www.win­ningra­ce­pro­files.co.uk

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