Written by Sam Darby.
With the Grand National fast approaching all the usual methods of picking a Grand National horse are going to be discussed, whether it is studying the form, picking a name you like or simply judging them by the colours they wear. One of the best ways of picking the right bet is to narrow the field down based on stats and trends that previous Grand National winners have met.
Punters are naturally drawn towards the Grand National runners at larger odds but statistically the first ten or so in the betting are likely to perform much better than the remaining thirty horses. In the last 22 Grand Nationals since 1990 a huge 17 of the winners started the race at 20/1 or below. That pretty much disproves the theory that the Grand National is a lottery and suggests that those that want to back the winner of the race should concentrate on those nearer the head of the betting.
Even if they are well fancied runners it could pay to rule out the horses at the very head of the weights. Last year’s winner Neptune Collonges carried 11-6 to victory and that was the highest weight carried to victory since Red Rum’s second Grand National victory in 1974. Neptune Collonges only won by a nose last year and any more weight would have caught him out so 11-6 could be the ceiling at which horses can win the race these days. There are likely to be three or four Grand National runners carrying more than 11-6 this year and that could include the likely top weight Imperial Commander. If the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner from 2010 lines up he will have to carry 11-10 and surely that weight would catch him out unless he turns out as good as Red Rum.
The Grand National is run over a gruelling four and a half miles and there is no test like it. A horse needs plenty of stamina to stay the trip so it stands to reason that every winner of the Grand National since 1970 had won over at least 3 miles previously and that is a very strong stat which is against one of the leading contenders. Seabass is the second favourite at the time of writing yet has never won over 3 miles under rules so could be one of the favourites worth taking on.
The only horse ahead of Seabass in the betting is On His Own and he is another that fails a crucial statistic. The last ten Grand National winners had all run over fences at least ten times, proving that experience is a key component of the Grand National winner yet On His Own has only run seven times over fences. He fell in the race last year and that fall can easily be attributed to lack of experience. Even the third favourite with most bookies, Cappa Bleu, has only had nine runs over fences so it will be interesting to see if he can buck that trend.
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