Top Grand National Tips
Ok, at first glance with 40 runners contesting 30 fences for 4 ½ miles the Aintree Grand National does have quite a scary look to it when it comes to trying to hunt down the winner – however, despite those daunting factors you can often find the Grand National winner by following a few simple tips and trends.
Read On - Our tips are listed below our preview...
Weight Watchers: The 2010 winner Don’t Push It carried 11st 5lbs to victory, and last year’s winner, Ballabriggs lumped 11-0 to success, but looking back at recent trends make 11st-5lbs your cut-off point. If you look back over the winners you have to go back to the 1977 Grand National to find the last horse to lump more than that to victory – plus that winner was the mighty Red Rum (11-8), while since Rummy’s victory that year a massive 98 horses have tried to shoulder over 11-5 and they’ve ALL failed to win!
Staying Power: Stamina is an absolute must when scanning down the entries. Year-after-year there are always plenty of hype horses that are certainly talented, but the big question surrounding their chance is will they stay the gruelling 4m 1/2f trip? You have to trawl back to 1970 and a horse called Gay Trip to find the last victor that won the Grand National having not previously won over at least 3 miles.
Age Concern: Experience is a vital attribute when looking back at past Grand National winners with horses aged 9 years-old or OLDER certainly the ones to focus on. A monster 17 of the last 19 winners fell into that age bracket, while you have to go back to 1940 (Bogskar) to find the last 7 year-old to grab the Merseyside marathon! In fact in the last 12 years thirty-four 6 or 7 year-olds have gone to post and not a single one has even been placed! 9 or 10 year-olds have won all of the last eight runnings, but don’t be too put off if your fancy is in their twilight years either as in recent times Amberleigh House and Royal Athlete, both aged 12, and Red Marauder & Miinnehoma, both aged 11 all defied their advancing years to grab Aintree glory.
Luck Of The Irish: Our friends from the across the Irish Sea have raided these shores to win the Aintree Grand National six times in the last 14 renewals, so certainly take a second glance at any of their runners in 2012. However, the last five renewals have all gone to an English-based handler.
Fencing Master: With thirty of the most unique obstacles in horse racing to contend with then having previous form over the tricky Aintree fences can be a huge advantage. Seven of the last 12 winners had been tried over the Grand National fences before, with the Topham Chase, Becher Chase or a previous run in the big race itself the main races to look out for.
Who’s Your Favourite: The betting on the Grand National always picks up pace in the weeks building up to the big race, but on the day itself when the once-a-year punters hit the high streets this is when the market really kicks into gear. It’s also worth nothing that the weights for the Grand National are issued well in advance (normally in February), so with some horses often running well after they’ve been given their allocated weight and before the race then this can also impact the ante post Grand National betting. In 2010 Don’t Push It was heavily backed in the final hour and was eventually sent off the 10/1 joint-favourite, while 12 months ago, despite not going off as the market leader, Ballabriggs was still well-fancied at 14/1. However, should your fancy hit as low as 7/1 then stand up and take note – in the last 16 years this has been the most popular winning SP, coming up trumps 4 times!
Market Toppers: We’ve already talked about the actual favourite, but this trend can be taken a bit further when you actually drill down into recent runnings. In fact a massive 16 of the last 21 winners started in the first eight in the betting, indication that, although Mon Mome popped up at 100/1 back in 2009, the punters generally tend to get this race right.
Fitness First: Probably the biggest trend in recent years and a really easy way to whittle the 40 string field down in one easy swoop is just check how many days ago your fancy ran. A massive 13 of the last 13 winners of the Grand National had their previous race no more than 48 days prior to the big day. While if you want to drill this trend down a bit further than you’ll notice that 9 of the last 12 ran less their last race less than 40 days before going onto Aintree glory. I would, however, give the 48 day trend a few days grace either side this year as there has been an extra week between the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree.
Key Aintree Grand National Trends
· 21/21 - Ran no more than 48 days ago
· 17/21 - Carried 10-12 OR LESS in weight
· 17/21 - Ran no more than 34 days ago
· 16/21 – Won at a double-figure price
· 13/21 - Carried 10-8 OR LESS in weight
· 15/21 – Winner was aged 10 years-old or younger
· 12/21 - Finished in the top 4 in their previous race
· 13/21 - Aged 9 or 10 years-old
· 6/21 - Trained in Ireland (inc 4 of the last 8 years)
· 7/21 - Ran at Cheltenham in their last race
· 5/21 - Favourite or joint favourites that have won
· 2/21 – Won by trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies
· 2/21 – Won by jockey Ruby Walsh
· 0/21 - Won by a horse aged 7 years-old OR LESS
Grand National Facts and Figures
· 17 of the last 18 winners were aged 9 or older
· The last horse to win with more than 11-5 was Red Rum in 1977
· Since 1977, 98 horses have tried to win with more than 11-5 – they’ve all failed
· 9 of the last 11 winners were bred in Ireland
· We’ve only seen two grey horses win the National
· Only 1 horse that won at the Cheltenham Festival has won since 1961
· The last 7 year-old or younger to win was back in 1940
· In the last 10 runnings there’s been three winning favourites (2 joint)
Recent Grand National Winners
2011 – Ballabriggs (14/1)
2010 – Don’t Push It (10/1 jfav)
2009 – Mon Mome (100/1)
2008 – Comply Or Die (7/1 jfav)
2007 – Silver Birch (33/1)
2006 – Numbersixvalverde (11/1)
2005 – Hedgehunter (7/1 fav)
2004 – Amberleigh House (16/1)
2003 – Monty’s Pass (16/1)
2002 – Binderee (20/1)
Grand National History
Run on April 14th this year (2012) at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool the Grand National is the biggest betting event in the British sporting calendar. It’s history and excitement captures the public's imagination, with once-a-year punters coming out in force to have their annual bet. Sweepstakes dominate the workplace with the high street bookies drafting in more staff to cope with the demand, and more often than not the day ensures a massive payday for the layers, with the race worth well over £100 million to the betting industry. The National is the most-viewed horse race of the year with over 10 million tuning into the BBC, and over 250 million worldwide will see the race live. The Aintree track is flat, but demanding, and brings together all of the jockey’s horsemanship and the horses jumping ability. In order to get round the pilot will have to show great bravery, with winning horses showing varying qualities like - stamina, speed, rhythm, jumping, courage and above all luck. Being a handicap the contest is extremely hard to win on more than one occasion, as previous winners will invariably have to shoulder extra weight if they want to run in the event in future years. There are some exceptions to this rule as past famous results saw the talented Red Rum win the race three times in the seventies, but since then no horse has been good enough to win back-to-back Grand Nationals.
So who are LiveSport.co.uk backing?
Unlike other races we're going to suggest a few horses worth consideration based on the advice above. If you could only back one and wanted decent value then we'd suggest Killyglen with early prices around 18/1. Then if you you want to spread things around a little, don't look much further than: Synchronised 9/1, West End Rocker 14/1, Junior 16/1, On His Own 14/1, Shakalakaboomboom 16/1; or for slightly longer odds The Midnight Club at 33/1. Good luck today whoever you back!
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