The highlight for many of the national hunt calendar, the John Smith’s Grand National takes place at Aintree on Saturday 5th 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
9 of 10 winners have been aged 9 to 11 (9-23-271)
In the past 9 years all 35 of 36 places were filled by horses aged 8 to 11
The only 2 horses aged older than 11 to make the places since 2004 have Amberleigh House (1st 2004) and Oscar Time (4th 2013), both were previously placed in the Grand National.
No horse aged below 8 or above 12 has made the frame in the past 10 years (0-0-37)
horses carrying 10-11 or more: 7-19-188
horses carrying 10-10 or less: 3-11-211
In recent years, with weights being more closely bunched, higher weights have done better.
Past 5 years:
horses carrying 10-11 or more: 4-11-98
horses carrying 10-10 or less: 1-4-102
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.
9 of 10 winners carried no more than a stone higher than the bottom weight
Top Weight: FP290UF3FP (0-2-10)
horses rated 149 or higher: 3-10-101
horses rated 136 to 148: 7-17-258
horses rated 127 to 135: 0-3-40
In recent years the trend has swung towards higher rated runners, with 17 of 20 places since 2009 going to horses rated 144+.
In last 5 years
horses rated 144 or higher: 4-13-120
horses rated 143 or lower: 1-2-80
Irish bred: 8-21-235
French bred: 2-4-93
British bred: 0-5-64
Mon Mome became the first French bred since 1909 to win the Grand National when landing the race in 2009 and Neptune Collonges followed up the feat in 2012.
Irish bred horses have the best record having won 8 of the last 10 and filled in 29 of 40 places (72.5%) from approximately 57.4% of the runners.
Old Vic has sired 23 National runners in 6 runnings in past 10 years, with a record of 2-4-23. He has sired one of the first 3 home in 5 of last 6 renewals.
9 of 10 winners finished in the first 5 on last completed start
10 of 10 winners had run since National weights were announced
8 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 146+ in one or both of last 2 chase starts
5 of 10 winners had posted an RPR of 148+ on each of last 2 chase starts
10 of 10 winners had won no more than 1 chase that season
8 of 10 winners had won a listed or graded chase (2 exceptions had won a class 2 chase worth 30K+)
10 of 10 had won a chase worth 29K+
10 of 10 winners had run 3 to 6 times since Sept 1
10 of 10 winners had won a chase over 3M+
10 of 10 winners had run in at least 10 chases
9 of 10 winners had won 3 to 5 chases (exception had won 11)
8 of 10 winners had contested 5 to 16 handicap chases
10 of 10 winners had won 1 to 3 handicap chases
8 of 10 winners (last 7) were 4th, 5th or 6th season chasers
The only second season chaser to have won this in past 10 years was Numbersixvalverde, who won the Thyestes and Irish Grand 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
6 of 10 winners (last 6) had previously been officially rated 148 or higher
8 of 10 winners (last 7) had posted an RPR of 147+ in a chase over 3M 2F+ at a left handed track
9 of 10 winners had posted an RPR of 134+ in a chase over 3M 4F+ (exception Ballabriggs had not run over further than 3M 2F)
7 of 10 winners (all 3 Irish-trained winners) had a run over hurdles in January, February or March
Previous Year's winner: 40262036 (0-4-8)
Record of placed finishers from previous GN: P1CF8PF09UU49F0374UU02 (1-4-22)
Topham Chase winner (Triolo D’Alene): 25F0 (0-1-4)
4 of 10 winners had previously run over the National fences though the last 4 winners were having first run on Mildmay course
2 of 10 winners had won over the National fences, both in the Becher Chase 2 seasons previous
4 of 10 winners had run in the previous season's Grand National, finishing 3FF0
5 of 10 winners ran at the previous year's Aintree National meeting (4 in GN & 1 in John Smith's H'cap Chase), 2 exceptions finished in first 6 in Scottish National, 1 exception won previous season's Irish National, 1 won the Kim Muir and other exception did race the previous season
Welsh National winner (Mountainous): UP (0-0-2)
Previous season's Welsh National winner (Monbeg Dude): 0F (0-0-2)
Previous season's Scottish National winner (Godsmejudge): 75 (0-0-2)
Highest placed finisher from previous Scottish National: 7U16U1 (2-0-6)
Record of first 9 from previous Scottish National: P7PU415U11 (3-1-10)
6 of 10 winners had finished in the first 3 in either the Irish, Welsh, Scottish or Aintree Grand Nationals
4 of 10 winners had run in a Welsh National, finishing 31P2
3 of 7 British-trained winners ran in previous year's Scottish National, finishing 962
Eider Chase winner (Wyck Hill): 1 (1-0-1)
Previous season's John Smith's H'cap Chase winner (Battle Group): 719 (1-0-3)
Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase winner (Monbeg Dude): F1U9 (1-0-4)
Previous season's Kim Muir winner (Same Difference): F671FU (1-0-6)
Bobbyjo Chase winner (On His Own): U1PUU6 (1-0-6)
London National winner (There's No Panic): FFP (0-0-3)
Showcase Trophy (Handicap Chase) winner (Balthazar King): FF0 (0-0-3)
Sky Bet Chase winner (The Rainbow Hunter): F60 (0-0-3)
Thyestes winner (On His Own): FP0F (0-0-4)
2 of 10 winners had finished in the first 4 in a Hennessy Gold Cup (one other was brought down when in contention)
2 of 7 British-trained winners ran in Haydock Grand National Trial, finishing 72
2 of 7 British-trained winners ran in Kelso Premier Chase last time, finishing 25
5 of 10 winners raced prominently
2 of 10 winners raced in mid-division
3 of 10 winners were held up
3 of 10 winners were trained in Ireland (3-11-111) from approximately 27.8% of total runners. The last Irish-trained winner was in 2007.
Trainers who have won the race in the past 10 years and have entries this year are:
Jonjo O’Neill (1-4-24), Paul Nicholls (1-3-32), Willie Mullins (1-2-23), David Pipe (1-1-20), Sue Smith (1-0-5), Gordon Elliot (1-0-8), Venetia Williams (1-0-9) and Donald McCain (1-0-12).
Evan Williams (0-5-7) has saddled State Of Play to be placed 3 times and also had Cappa Bleu make the frame in past 2 runnings.
Martin Lynch (0-2-2) saddled Oscar Time to be placed twice and Tom Taaffe (0-2-6) trained Slim Pickings to be placed twice.
Trainers with very poor records in the race in the past 10 years include:
Ferdy Murphy (0-0-6), Nicky Henderson (0-0-8), Philip Hobbs (0-0-10) and Nigel Twiston-Davies (0-0-26).
In the past 7 years there have been 4 big shocks, with two 33/1 winners in 2007 & 2012, a 100/1 winner in 2009 and a 66/1 winner last year.
Favourites (3-5-19) have gained 3 wins in past 10 years, giving a level stakes profit of 7.50.
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Aged 8 to 11 (9 or 10 especially)
- Carrying 10-11 or more
- Carrying no more than 14lbs higher than bottom weight
- Officially rated 144 or higher (has been rated 148+ at some point in career)
- Irish or French bred
- Respect horses sired by Old Vic
- Finished in first 5 on last completed start
- Posted an RPR of 146+ in one or both of last 2 chase starts
- 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 2013 & run since 10th February 2014
- Run in at least 10 chases (winning at least 3)
- Posted highest RPR at a left-handed track in a chase over 3M+
- Has posted an RPR of 147+ in a chase over 3M 2F+
- Has run over hurdles in 2014
- Finished in first 4 in a previous Topham, Becher or Aintree Grand National
- Finished in first 3 in a previous Welsh National
- Finished in first 9 in 2013 Scottish National
- Finished in first 5 in a previous Hennessy Gold Cup.