I recorded this video How To Find The Winner Of The Grand National a few years ago for my You Tube Channel. However, the statistics we use to narrow down the field to the big race today, are just as effective now.
Take your time to watch the video through and work your way through the field and make yourself a shortlist of the main contenders.
As you can see the key is to use the wealth of historical data, race trends and statistics to narrow down the field from 40 horses to the key contenders for the race each year. This is my favourite method to approach the race each year and some years I have had a list of 6 horses with four of them filling the top 4 places. So it is worth the effort.
Here are my Top 10 Tips for Finding The Winner Of The Grand National 2017 :
1. Weight – Look at the Top Weight – Winners generally carry less than 11st 1lb. Over the past 30 years there have only been two winners to carry more. Don’t Push It in 2010 and Neptune Collonges in 2012. Minimum Weight of 10 st – Only 2 winners in the past 25 years have carried the minimum 10 st – so again you can safely exclude any horses on minimum weight.
2. Age – The sweet spot for a winner’s age is between 8 – 12yrs old. All of the past 25 winners have fallen in this age group. Over the past 5 years the race has been dominated by 10 / 11 yo. Avoid Younger horses of 6 / 7 yrs old, as they do not tend to have the experience or stamina to win the race. So dismiss all horses under 8yrs old or older than 12yrs old.
3. Sex – The last mare to win the race was Nickel Coin in 1951 – so avoid female horses.
4. Stamina – Proven stamina – the past 20 winners have all won a race over 3m or more in that season. Even Mon Mome, the 100/1 winner in 2009 had won a race over 3m in December 2008.
5. Experience – Naturally horses with more experience do well at Aintree, as the jumping test demands it. All of the last 25 winners have run at least 10 times over fences before competing in the Grand National. Check back in the horse form and make sure they have at least 10 chase runs.
6. Greys – Only 2 grey horses in the history of the Grand National have won the race. The last was Nicolaus Silver in 1961.
7. Blinkers – In the past 40 yrs only 2 horses have won wearing blinkers. Comply or Die in 2008 and Earth Summit in 1998. So avoid horses with blinkers.
8. Odds – The market tends to get the race correct. Particularly when there has been little rain and the ground is good. The big priced winners tend to come when the ground is soft and it becomes a real stamina test. Focus on the 7/1 – 16/1 price range in the market – 17 winners from the past 25 years have come from this price range.
NOTE: This stat has been overturned in the past 3 years, although 2 of those years were on softer ground – with Neptune Collonges in 2012 at 33/1, Auroras Encore 2013 at 66/1 and Pineau De Re in 2014 at 25/1. So the odds on the 2015 winner to be over 16/1 in the market are slim, particualarly with the forecast Good ground.
9. One Win – Only 1 horse of the last 25 winners have recorded more than one win in the season, that was Ballabriggs the 2011 winner. So you can safely discount horses with multiple wins that season.
10. Previous Winner – Only Red Rum has ever won the Grand National more than once, so any returning winners can be discounted from your shortlist.
So go through the list of runners tomorrow afternoon or on Saturday morning and put a line through each of them if they do not fit the criteria. Be ruthless and see what you have left on your list at the end. You will be surprised.
My Top 5 2017 Shortlist
Here are the horses that I have on my shortlist, after going through this process.
Definitly Red 12/ 1 – A well supported Favourite for this years race and has won over 3m 2f and 3m this season – so plenty of stamina.
Blaklion 14/1 – He is all about stamina and finished 2nd to Vieux Lion Rouge and 3rd to Definitly Red this season. Weighted to reverse these results.
Vieux Lion Rouge 14/1 – another confirmed stayer after winning over 3m 4f and 3m 2f on his last two starts.
Cause Of Causes 18/1 – won over 3m 6f at the Cheltenham Festival in the Glenfarclas Cross Country – so has experience of the fences.
Highland Lodge 28/1 – won the Becher Chase here in 2015 and then finsished 2nd to Vieux Lion Rouge here in December.