Grand National Winner Trends


By looking through the Grand National history, it’s easy to identify the type of horse required to win the Grand National. We have gone through all the stats and below we list the Grand National trends which each of the past ten winners had!
We have used these trends to help us come up with a short list of the most likely winners for Grand National 2014

Grand National Trends Tips - The Short List

The tips we highlight here along with the last ten previous winners, will share the following characteristics - Some of the fancied runners that meets the above criteria are:
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Each one of these trends should be considered when looking at the list of this years Grand National runners.
You can use our Grand National form tool to input the criteria and show you the list of horses which fit the trends. Add your own criteria to further narrow down the field.
In our popular Grand National Blog there has been lots of discussion as to how we can cut the field down further.

Aimed at The Grand National

At Grand National Guide we have always advised to look for a Grand National Runner who has been aimed at the race all season. One way is to look for horses that have run over hurdles in the current year.
The reason trainers run their Grand National hopes over hurdles is to protect their chase handicap mark. Horses have different handicap ratings for whether they are running over hurdles or chases. Should a horse run well in a chase early in the year then their handicap mark will be increased and this then makes their chances of winning the Grand National much harder.
Its no surprise then that
7 OF THE LAST 10 GRAND NATIONAL WINNERS RAN OVER HURDLES IN THE SEASON THEY WON THE GRAND NATIONAL. (Comply Or Die, Neptune Collonges and Auroras Encore did not)

So using this trend we can identify those horses who meet the above trends and who look to have been aimed specifically at the Grand National.
Ballabriggs was campaigned over hurdles to maintain his handicap mark in 2011 but whereas most horses run over hurdles before the National are just running to gain fitness, Ballabriggs highlighted his wellbeing with two easy wins. Fewer horses have used hurdle races as their preparation this year but one horse who has is Burton Port. Jonjo O'Neill obviously felt this horse's handicap mark was worth protecting and perhaps we should take the hint.
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Grand National Trends - Age

Stamina reserves and jumping ability are the two most crucial requirements for a Grand National winner. Younger horses have a poor record in the race which is probably because they tend to have more speed than stamina.
As horses age, like humans, they tend to lose speed and gain stamina. With so many difficult jumps, experience is the key to success
We have to go back to 1940 to find a horse younger than 8 has won the Grand National


Much older horses also tend to struggle in the Grand National as a horse needs to be in its prime to survive the tests of the World's greatest race.

The peak for a staying chaser is thought to be around 9 - 10 years old. Grand National trends back this up with thirteen of the last eighteen winners being aged nine or ten.
In the last 88 years no horse older than 12 has won the Grand National

Focus on horses aged 9-12. The 2013 winner Auroras Encore was aged 11 and none of the first six home was aged under 9. In 2011 horses aged 9-11 filled the first ten places

Grand National Trends - Class

It may seem an obvious statement but every year thousands of pounds are lost on horses that don't have the class to win a Grand National.
Most recent Grand National winners ran off an official rating of between 136 and 157 with only Bobby Jo and Little Polvier winning from "out of the handicap"

Grand National trends - bad horses simply don't win the race! Grand National trends like this are too strong to be ignored. Concentrate on those rated between 136 and 157 on the day of the race. In 2013 the winner Auroras Encore was rated 137.

Grand National Trends - Weight

The weight a horse carries is probably the most important statistical factor when analysing top class staying handicap chases. With the Grand National being the longest and toughest staying handicap chase this is made even more important.
Since the war only six Grand Nationals have been won by horses carrying more than 11st 5 lbs and two of those were by the incredible Red Rum!

Grand National trends - horses carrying more than 11 stone 6lbs have tended to struggle but with the recent changes to the race perhaps horses with a high weight are beginning to become more favoured? That said, its still a huge task to carry big weights around Aintree Concentrate on runners carrying under 11st 7 lbs Last year's winner Auroras Encore carried 10stone 3lbs.

Grand National Trends - Stamina

Stamina is a critical ingredient for winning the Grand National. Every year we see very talented 2.5 milers that the public & press get behind, yet they never seem to last home.
Gay Trip (1970) was the last Grand National winner who hadn't previously won over at least three miles!

The 2012 joint favourite Seabass had only won over 2m 6f and it looked like his stamina ran out in the final stages of the race. The BHA have taken steps to reduce the possibility of horses running the Grand National who have lots to find on stamina but it should still pay to concentrate on those horses who have categorically proved their stamina. Grand National tips - if a horse hasn't previously won over at least three miles then you are taking a big chance that its first long distance win will be the Grand National. Concentrate on those with proven stamina The 2012 winner Auroras Encore had confirmed his stamina by previously winning two chases over three miles or further and finishing a head second in the four mile Scottish National.


Grand National Trends - Ability to Perform in Top Races

Each of the last ten winners had proven ability in a top race.
Every winner in the last ten years had won a race worth at least £17,000.

Grand National trends - its far safer to concentrate on runners with proven ability. These horses have shown that they are capable of winning and that they can handle the conditions of a competitive race. Concentrate on horses with proven ability in a decent class race Last years winner had proven himself in good class races.

Grand National Trends - Jumping Experience

Horses with little jumping experience don't win Grand Nationals. To jump these large, difficult obstacles, a horse needs to have the confidence behind them which they have gained by jumping plenty of fences before.
Schooling on the training grounds doesn't make up for real experience at the race course.
Each of the last 10 Grand National winners had run at least ten times over fences before the start on the big day at Aintree.

Grand National tips - this normally eliminates a few novices and those with little experience due to being off the course with injuries.

Grand National Trends - Tiredness/Trained for the Race

A tired and over raced horse can't be expected to beat 39 other horses in the toughest race on earth. Horses who aren't at peak fitness will struggle.

The Grand National is usually run around three-four weeks after the Cheltenham Festival and many horses will have been trained so that they peak in time for Cheltenham, not Aintree.
This leaves them at a big disadvantage and if they have been in a tough race at the festival, four weeks or so might not be enough time for some of them to recover.
In recent years Silver Birch (second in the Cross Country), Bindaree (sixth in the William Hill Chase) and Don’t Push It (pulled up in the Pertemps Final) have gone on to win the Grand National after racing at Cheltenham. Many others have tried and failed.


Grand National Trends - Trainers and Jockeys

Its best to concentrate on the proven ability of the horse rather than the jockey and trainer.
Jockeys can win with their first run in the Grand National whereas some of the best national hunt jockeys have never won the race. A perfect example of this was in 2009 when jockey Liam Treadwell gave Mon Mome the perfect ride to win on his first ride around the Aintree fences.
Some trainers have a better history of training staying chasers and particularly Grand National winners than others. In recent years Nigel Twiston Davies has trained two runners to victory, whilst the late Ginger McCain won his fourth Grand National with Amberleigh House.
  • Pay attention to runners from stables with a history of training good staying chasers and Grand National winners but don't place too much emphasis on this.
  • Don't be put off if your selection has an inexperienced jockey on board - Liam Treadwell for example!
  • Richard Johnson is one of the current top jump jockeys yet he has never won a Grand National!


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18/09/14 18:35:01