The Grand National is that one race a year that captures everyone’s imagination and it’s always made much more exciting if you have a horse to cheer on in the last few furlongs. There are many ways to try and find the Grand National winner but one of the best ways is to look at the stats and trends from previous years to see which horses fit the bill for this year’s race.
Although many punters are going to look for a bit of value with Grand National horses at bigger odds in the race it seems the winner is much more likely to be one of the more fancied horses. In fact, those that are 20/1 or shorter on the day have a much better record, despite only around a quarter of the field qualifying at those odds. In the last 22 renewals of the Grand National 17 of those winners have started the race at odds of 20/1 or shorter. This proves that the race isn’t really the lottery it’s made out to be and that those with the best chances on form tend to perform the best in the race.
Weight can be just as important as the odds as the horses carrying the most weight in the race can be vulnerable to those with lesser weights. Neptune Collonges won the race last year with 11-6 on his back and that was the most weight carried to victory since Red Rum won the race for a second time in 1974. Neptune Collonges’ winning distance was just a nose so even an extra pound would have cost him victory suggesting that 11-6 is the ceiling from which a horse can win the Grand National these days. That’s bad news for the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander who is set to carry top weight of 11-10. A total of 3-4 horses look likely to carry more than 11-6 this year.
There is nothing like the Grand National’s four and a half mile trip and whilst very few horses go into the race with their stamina fully proven, the general rule is that a horse should have already won over at least three miles. Every winner since 1970 meets that statistic but one horse that doesn’t is the well fancied Seabass who has never won over further than 2m6f which could be bad news for backers of the second favourite.
Seabass isn’t the only well fancied runner to fail a significant statistic, the current favourite On His Own and third favourite Cappa Bleu have both had fewer than the ten races over fences that all the last ten winners of the Grand National had previously had. On His Own fell in the race last year on his sixth start and that can be put down to inexperience and he’s had only one run since then meaning he still lacks the experience of previous Grand National winners. Cappa Bleu only fails that stat by one run so looks a slightly less risky betting proposition but both horses could be best off taken on this year.