In just seven days time there’s going to be the thunder of hooves and the roar from the crowd as the Grand National race for it’s 175th race. And, I’m going to give you all the stats that you need to narrow down the field to find the horse with the best chance of winning.
It’s probably the most famous race in the world and definitely the most famous jumps race. Without doubt it causes controversy and in recent years that has led to making the course less dangerous for the horses.
It’s still one of the hardest races that exist and is run over a tear-jerking four and a half miles. As if that wasn’t enough, the competitors also have to contend with thirty fences!
The image above shows you the course that the runners will be following at Aintree. They go round the track twice before finishing at the grandstand.
Now we know what the course is going to look like, let’s get stuck into some of the stats. These are all based over the last ten runnings as much earlier than that, although we get more data, we start to lose relevance to todays racing.
Age seems to play a key role in this race, which would make sense considering the astounding level of fitness a horse has to have over this distance and course. No six to eight year olds have won and the sweet spot is for horses aged between nine and eleven. There has been one twelve year old winner but out of thirty two twelve year olds racing that is just a 3% win rate.
As you would expect in a race with over such a long distance and with so many jumps, the weight a horse is carrying is crucial to their performance. However a horse carrying to little indicates that it’s not yet ready to compete in this race. This is proven in the results as only one horse carrying less than 10 stone 3 pounds has every placed. At the other end of the scale any horse carrying more than 11 stone 6 pounds is likely to be carrying more weight than they can cope with and these runners have only achieved a 10% place rate in the last decade with no winners.
Looking at the official rating we can see and interesting change over the last few years from the handicappers. Apart from Auroras Encore last year, all winners in the last five years have had an official rating of 148 or higher. However the previous five years saw four of the winners rated either 139 or 138 and none above 144. This would indicate that the handicappers are getting better at assessing the best in the race and giving them higher ratings. However keep a close watch on the weight they’re carrying as well.
This takes us on to class. It would be easy to assume that horses dropping down in class to this Grade 3 race would have a big edge, but… the stats prove that this is not the case. From 100 runners that have dropped down in class coming into the Grand National, just 9% of them have succeeded in taking a place position with no winners. Of course, moving up in class by too much is also going to make it very difficult for a runner to compete. As a general rule, any horse moving up in class by three or more levels can rules out as being a possible contender.
In order for a horse to compete they must have a certain level experience. You should be looking for runners that have raced at least ten times in chase races and won a minimum of three of them.
Before coming to Aintree most of the horses will have had preparation races and to make sure that they’ve got both a good level of fitness and competitiveness, you should be focusing on the runners who placed in the top five last time out. 80% of the winners have been in the top five in their last race. But, if their last race was at Cheltenham this has been proven to be a handicap to the runners with only two have won the Grand National when their last race was at Cheltenham.
We already know that a horse needs to be fit and so you should also concentrate on horses who have raced in the last twenty one to sixty days. This is the recency of racing that ALL of the winners have had so far.
Taking all this information into account, we’re looking for horses that:
Carrying 10-3 to 11-6 in the weights
At the higher end of the Official Rating. A minimum of 138 but with preference to 148 or higher
Not dropping in class and not rising by more than three class levels
Have raced in at least ten chase races and won at least three of them
Placed in the top five in their last race
Have raced in the last 21-60 days
From 73 runners declared at the time of writing this leaves us with Mossey Joe, Walkon, Balthazar King, Mr Moonshine, Across The Bay, Monbeg Dude, Big Shu, Burton Port, Chance Du Roy and Pineau De Re.
I would suggest, that you focus your attention on these runners when you are looking at who to bet on in the Grand National next week.
Let me know who you fancy by leaving a comment below.