12th Apr 2018 | Grand National
Grand National Trends
Trends associated with the Grand National winners. We give you four pointers to help narrow down the field.
With over 150 years of history, the Grand National more than any race, has developed some deep trends associated with its winners. Jumped over a unique set of fences and run over the marathon distance of 4 miles 4 furlongs – the Grand National is an idiosyncratic race.
Horses rarely have to deal with this set of variables, and it takes certain characteristics to cope with them. Here we analyse the trends that past Grand National winners have stuck by.
Trend 1: 21 of the last 27 winners were aged between 9 and 11 years old.
With 30 fences to negotiate, varying in height and some of extreme difficulty, you need a horse that can jump. With age comes experience. Up to a point, the older a horse is, the better jumper it is. With so many obstacles, horses are bound to make mistakes but the older, experienced jumpers can stay upright when they make a bad leap. Beyond 12 years-old, the rigours of the race become too much and horses tend to be getting slower at this time in their careers.
Trend 2: 26 of the last 27 winners had previously won a chase over three miles or further.
The four and a half mile trip of the Grand National makes it one of the longest races on the National Hunt calendar. Akin to a marathon, the horses need to be proven over long distances. Last year’s winner Rule The World had never won beyond 3m prior to the Grand National but he had finished runner-up in the Irish National.
Trend 3: 22 of the last 27 winners had won a chase with 12 or more rivals.
With 40 runners contesting the race each year, runners need to be used to the hurly burly of a big field. With such a scrum at each fence, horses need to be capable of jumping well even when suffering interference.
Trend 4: 10 of the last 12 winners had won at least a listed or graded race.
With a prize fund of almost £1million, better quality horses are contesting the race each year. The senior handicapper, Phil Smith, has also changed the way weight is allocated so that horses are more closely matched. With numerous entries rated 150+ it takes a good quality horse just to get into the race.
Horses that fit all four trends
Total Recall 11/1
Vieux Lion Rouge 33/1
Pleasant Company 40/1
Chase The Spud 66/1
Valseur Lido 66/1
Perfect Candidate 80/1
Odds correct at time of publishing: 12:41 12th Apr, 2018 but subject to change