If you're new to the Grand National or you've only really ever had a passing interest and you would like to know how to whittle down the entries to pick a horse that has a reasonable chance of making you a few quid on Saturday April 14th then have a read at the stats below and let them guide you to picking a winner!
There are officially 59 horses remaining in the Grand National and I am going to reduce that figure using the trends and stats over the last 20 years.
9 and 10 years old tend to fair best in the Grand National, they are at the perfect age for stamina and maturity. In the last 20 years of the Grand National the winners are broken down into the following:
– 12 year old winners – 2 of them
– 11 year old winners – 2 of them
– 10 year old winners – 7 of them
– 9 year old winners – 6 of them
– 8 year old winners – 2 of them
– 7 year old winners – 0
So 13 of the last 20 winners have either been nine or ten years old! If we eliminate all of the horses that are not either nine or ten we only have 29 horses left to choose from.
The heaviest winner in the last 20 years was Don't Push It on 11-05. Hedgehunter won on 11-01 in 2005 and all of the remaining 18 winners between 1992 and 2011 weighed a maximum of 11-00.
In fact you have to go back 30 years to find another horse to win on 11-05 which was Grittar in 1982. Before that the heaviest was Red Rum on 11-08 in 1977.
If we eliminate all of the remaining horses on this year's list, who weigh more than 11-00 we are left with 19 horses who fit the criteria.
Stamina in the Grand National is as important as the age or weight of the horse. If the horse is used to running at two and a half miles then realistically what are the chances that on this one day he will go for over four gruelling miles??
I've looked at all of the 19 horses left because of the new regulations, all of them will at least have been placed in a race over 3m just to qualify. But how many have been placed at a distance further than that?? I've used 3m5f as the benchmark.
That now leaves 11 horses still in contention.
Has the horse fallen or unseated his rider in the last two seasons? All horses make mistakes at some point but if they consistently fall or unseat their jockeys then the Grand National is not the place you want to cross your fingers and hope that they have a good day!
Since 2001, only one winning horse had ‘Unseated' his rider in the previous year and that was Bindaree in 2002. Three others had one Fall within a year of winning the Grand National – Red Marauder (2001), Hedgehunter (2005) and Silverbirch (2007). No other winners had fallen or unseated their riders within two years of their win.
By the way, being ‘Brought Down' is not the same as falling as that's the fault of another horse.
With that in mind, I can now eliminate four more horses who have either fallen or unseated their rider leaving 7 still in contention.
Of those seven horses, only 4 have never fallen or unseated their riders, with one only falling once over a year ago.
The Top 4 are:
West End Rocker
Le Beau Bai
Sunnyhillboy (CAME 2nd)
Cappa Bleu (CAME 4th)