The highlight for many of the national hunt calendar, the Randox Health Grand National takes place at Aintree on Saturday 8th April. It’s always a fiercely competitive cavalry charge, you need plenty of luck to win it but there are plenty of key trends that can help to narrow the field down.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
Every winner since WWII (1946) has been aged 8 to 12
In the past 10 years all 38 of 40 places were filled by horses aged 8 to 11
All 3 winners aged 8 in last 30 years have finished in first 5 in the Hennessy Gold Cup earlier that season.
All 25 horses aged younger than 8 have been unplaced and only 2 of 36 horses aged 12+ have made the frame.
horses carrying 11-7 or more: 1-1-32
horses carrying 11-0 to 11-6: 4-8-91
horses carrying 10-6 to 10-13: 4-16-188
horses carrying 10-5 or less: 1-5-87
horses carrying 11-0 or more have won 5 of 10 but represented just 30.9% of total runners.
The last 4 horses that managed to make the places, carrying 11-7+, had won previous year’s race or finished in first 6 in Cheltenham Gold Cup on previous start.
9 of 10 winners were initially allotted a weight of at least 10-5 on publication of National weights, exception Auroras Encore was allotted 9-13.
8 of 10 winners carried no more than a stone higher than the bottom weight
Top Weight: 900UF3FPUP0 (0-1-11)
horses rated 149 or higher: 4-10-134
horses rated 136 to 148: 6-20-256
horses rated 127 to 135: 0-0-8
In recent years the trend has swung towards higher rated runners, with 27 of 32 places since 2009 going to horses rated 143+.
In last 8 years
horses rated 143 or higher: 7-20-224
horses rated 142 or lower: 1-4-94
Irish bred: 6-24-243
French bred: 3-2-84
British bred: 1-4-63
Mon Mome became the first French bred since 1909 to win the Grand National when landing the race in 2009 and Neptune Collonges & Pineau De Re followed up the feat in 2012 & 2014.
Irish bred horses have won 6 of the last 10 and filled in 30 of 40 places (75%) from approximately 61% of the runners.
Old Vic has sired 26 National runners in 7 runnings in past 10 years, with a record of 2-5-26. He has sired one of the first 3 home in 6 of last 8 renewals, in which he’s been represented.
7 of 10 winners finished in the first 4 on last completed start (1 exception 6th in Gold Cup, another 8th in Midlands National)
7 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 146+ on last chase start
10 of 10 winners had run since National weights were announced
9 of 10 winners had won no more than 1 chase that season (Exception was Many Clouds, who had won 3)
6 of 10 winners had won a listed or graded chase (2 exceptions had won a class 2 chase worth 30K+, 1 had been 2nd in a grade 1 and other had won the Ulster Grand National)
8 of 10 winners had won a chase worth 29K+ (1 exception 2nd in a chase worth 111K)
10 of 10 winners had run 3 to 6 times since 1st September
9 of 10 winners had won a chase over 3M+ (exception was maiden who had finished 2nd in previous Irish National)
10 of 10 winners had run in at least 10 chases
8 of 10 winners had won 3 to 5 chases (exceptions had won 0 & 11)
8 of 10 winners had contested 1 to 9 handicap chases
10 of 10 winners had won 0 to 3 handicap chases
8 of 10 winners were 2nd, 3rd or 4th season chasers
The last 4 second season chasers to have won this in past 10 years were Numbersixvalverde, who won the Thyestes and Irish Grand National as a novice, Pineau De Re, who won the Ulster Grand National as a novice, Many Clouds, who won Hennessy Gold up on 8th chase start and Rule The World, who was 2nd in Irish National as a novice)
10 of 10 winners posted career high RPR in a chase over 3M+
9 of 10 winners posted their highest RPR at a left-handed track
8 of 10 winners had previously been officially rated 148 or higher
9 of 10 winners had posted an RPR of 147+ in a chase over 3M+ at a left handed track
8 of 10 winners had posted an RPR of 134+ in a chase over 3M 4F+ (exceptions Ballabriggs & Many Clouds had not run over furthe than 3M 3F)
5 of 10 winners had a run over hurdles in January, February or March
Record of placed finishers from previous GN: 09UU49F0374UU02U4 (0-5-17)
Prev season's Becher Chase winner (Highland Lodge): 2B0 (0-1-3)
Becher Chase winner (Vieux Lion Rouge): PPFUPF60 (0-0-8)
Grand Sefton Chase winner (As De Mee):
Only 3 of 10 winners had previously run over the National fences
Only 1 of 10 winners had won over the National fences, last 2 winners that had won over the fences did so in the Becher Chase 2 seasons previous
2 of 10 winners had run in the previous season's Grand National, finishing F0
4 of 10 winners ran at the previous year's Aintree National meeting (2 in GN, 1 in Mildmay Novice Chase & 1 in John Smith's H'cap Chase), 2 exceptions finished in first 6 in Scottish National, 1 exception 2nd in previous season's Irish National, 1 won the Kim Muir and other exception did not race the previous season
Previous season's Scottish National winner (Vicente): 5U (0-0-2)
Highest placed finisher from previous Scottish National: U16U1U5 (2-0-7)
Record of first 9 from previous Scottish National: PU415U811PU5 (3-1-12)
Previous season's Irish National winner (Rogue Angel): FFFP05 (0-0-6)
Two season's previous Irish National winner (Thunder And Roses): 6P75P9 (0-0-6)
5 of 10 winners had finished in the first 3 in either the Irish, Welsh, Scottish or Aintree Grand Nationals
3 of 10 winners had run in a Welsh National, finishing 1P2
3 of 8 British-trained winners ran in previous year's Scottish National, finishing 962
2 of last 3 Irish-trained winners ran in previous year's Irish National, finishing 12
Previous season's Betfred TV H'cap Chase winner (Maggio): 19R (1-0-3)
Previous season's Kim Muir winner (Cause Of Causes): 671FU0 (1-0-6)
Grimthorpe Chase winner (Definitly Red): 2 (0-1-1)
Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase winner (Cause Of Causes): 2F (0-1-2)
Previous season's 4M NH Novice Chase winner (Minella Rocco): FB3 (0-1-3)
Ivan Straker Memorial Chase winner (Saphir Du Rheu): F0 (0-0-2)
Pat Taaffe H'cap Chase winner (Pleasant Company): 9U (0-0-2)
Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase winner (Definitly Red): B0 (0-0-2)
Classic Chase winner (One For Arthur): UB (0-0-2)
Silver Cup H'cap Chase winner (Regal Encore): PP (0-0-2)
Haydock Grand National Trial winner (Vieux Lion Rouge): PP (0-0-2)
BetBright Best For Festival Betting H'cap Chase winner (Shantou Flyer): PF0 (0-0-3)
Irish Daily Mirror Chase winner (Roi Des Francs): PUU (0-0-3)
Sky Bet Chase winner (Ziga Boy): F60U (0-0-4)
Bobbyjo Chase winner (Pleasant Company): PUU6P (0-0-5)
2 of 8 British-trained winners ran in Hennessy Gold Cup, finishing P1
2 of 8 British-trained winners ran in Haydock GN Trial, finishing 72
2 of 8 British-trained winners ran in Kelso Premier Chase last time, finishing 25
2 of 8 British-trained winners ran in Pertemps Network H'cap Hurdle last time, finishing P3
2 of 8 British-trained winners (2 of last 3) ran in Summer Plate, finishing 00
6 of 10 winners raced prominently
3 of 10 winners raced in mid-division
1 of 10 winners were held up
Trainers who have won the race in the past 10 years and have entries this year are:
Jonjo O’Neill (1-2-21), Paul Nicholls (1-2-36), David Pipe (1-1-27), Richard Newland (1-0-3), Sue Smith (1-0-4), Mouse Morris (1-0-5), Gordon Elliot (1-0-10), Venetia Williams (1-0-10) and Donald McCain (1-0-16).
Willie Mullins (0-1-26) won this in 2005 but has seen just 2 of his 27 runners since then make the frame.
Kim Bailey (0-1-6) & Dermot McLoughlin (0-1-1) saddled The Last Samuri & Vics Canvas to be 2nd & 3rd respectively in 2016.
Rebecca Curtis (0-1-4), Tom George (0-1-4) & Ted Walsh (0-1-6) have each saddled 1 placed finisher.
Philip Hobbs (0-1-15), Nicky Henderson (0-0-11) and Nigel Twiston-Davies (0-0-23) have managed just 1 placed finisher in past 10 runnings from a combined 49 runners.
2 of 10 winners were trained in Ireland (2-11-114) from approximately 28.6% of total runners. Bobbyjo, in 1999, became first Irish winner since 1975. Between 1999 & 2007, Irish-trained runners won 6 of 9 runnings. Since 2008, Irish-trained runners have a record of 1-10-103.
In the past 10 years there have been some surprise winners, with three 33/1 winners in 2007, 2012 & 2016, a 100/1 winner in 2009, a 66/1 winner in 2013 and a 25/1 winner in 2015.
Favourites (2-4-17) have gained 2 wins in past 10 years, giving a level stakes loss of 0.50.
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Aged 9 to 11 (or 8yo that finished in first 5 in 2016 Hennessy Gold Cup)
- Carrying no more than 14lbs higher than bottom weight
- Officially rated 143 or higher (ideally rated 148+ at some point in career)
- Respect horses sired by Old Vic
- Finished in first 3 on last completed start
- Posted an RPR of 146+ on last completed chase start
- Won no more than one chase this season
- Won a listed or graded chase worth 29K+
- Won over 3M+
- Run 3 to 6 times since September 2016 & run since 14th February 2017
- Run in at least 10 chases (winning at least 3)
- Posted career highest RPR in a chase over 3M+ (ideally at a left-handed track)
- Has posted an RPR of 147+ in a chase over 3M 2F+
- Has run over hurdles in 2017
- Finished in first 3 in a previous Welsh or Irish National
- Finished in first 9 in 2016 Scottish National
- Finished in first 5 in a previous Hennessy Gold Cup
- Finished in first 5 in Totepoolliveinfo.com Premier Chase or Pertemps Network H’cap Hurdle last time