December 7, 2008 at 05:22 #195024
After reading everyone else’s comments I realised that I wasn’t going to get an easy winner, and the answer was to put some graft in.
I’ve entered all 119 horses in Betfair’s ante-post market into a spreadsheet, together with all the runners in the 2008 Becher, Hennessy, Midlands GN, Grand National, Irish GN, Whitbread, Scottish GN, Welsh National entries, plus horses rated 140+ over 3m+ on the BHA website.
So far, I have only collated the information for the Betfair horses. Being impatient, I dove into these. Threw out everything that hadn’t won a chase over 25+f, everything that hasn’t run yet this season, everything not rated 135-150, everything not aged 8-10 next year, everything that hasn’t run between 10-20 chases – I even threw out those who had Strong Gale as a Damsire. I then threw out Garde Champetre because Bolger said it would have the same campaign as last season. I was left with just Mon Mome.
I then realised that what I should do first is analyse the trends. I’ve used the past 15 runnings, upto the void race.
First of all, as an aside, which six jockeys would people recommend for the National? It does seem to be won by jockeys who have a reputation for being sympathetic to their horse.
The 2009 National winner has probably run within the past 3 weeks, without winning. (Only Monty’s Pass bucks this trend in the past 13 runnings – he had last run on Oct 13, and had had a busy summer, winning the Kerry National in September.) Furthermore, he is likely to have run at least twice this season: only Silver Birch, who had run in just one Point-to-Point, bucks this trend in the past 13 seasons.
I was astonished to find how few chases some National winners had run in their lifetime up to Dec 7th in their GN winning season:- Lord Gyllene 6 (in Britain), Miinnehoma 7, Numbersixvalverde 8, Red Marauder 9, Silver Birch and Hedgehunter 10, Bindaree 11, Comply or Die 12, and Bobbyjo and Royal Athlete 14.
Despite the few runs, there is just one 8yo winner (Bindaree), and then five 9yos, 5 10yos, 2 11yos and 2 12yos.
It is 6/4 that the GN winner is a crock: Comply Or Die missed the 2006-07 season: Silver Birch missed 2005; Numbersixvalverde missed Feb03-Feb04; Red Marauder missed 1999 and had one race between Oct94 and Oct 98; Royal Athlete missed 1994, 1991 and most of 1992; Miinnehoma missed the 90-91 season, Feb93-Mar94, and never ran May-Nov.
This is good news for anyone fancying Trabolgan, though if he doesn’t make it for the old SGB chase at Ascot in a fortnight, I’d forget it; it seems that although a horse might be a crock, or ex-crock, it needs a couple of races in the autumn to add to the conditioning required for the GN.
12 of the 15 had already by now won a chase of at least 25f. Monty’s Pass and Red Marauder had won over 24f. Monty’s Pass GN was on Good ground, and Red Marauder didn’t need to stay, he just needed to stay upright. Lord Gyllene had yet to win in Britain (so there’s still hope for Nine de Sivola, ha-ha).
The trend for horses to be in the handicap proper, but to carry no more than 11 stone, still continues from the previous couple of decades. Exceptions are Hedgehunter 11-1 and Bobbyjo 14lbs(oh). Lord Gyllene carried 10st, but I don’t know whether he was out of the handicap.
Concomitant with the previous trend, horses have come from a narrow band of handicap ratings – the last 9 winners were rated 134-142 at this time of year, and 136-144 for the race. Bobbyjo, although rated 126 at the moment, had won the previous season’s Irish GN, and Lord Gyllene (129) had just started going. The three earlest winners, Miinnehoma, Royal Athlete and Rough Quest were all above these bands, but only carried between 10-6 and 10-8 in the race.
I was trying to get a trend that British winners either had form over the National obstacles, or had achieved a high Racing Post Rating in a chase at Cheltenham, but I think I was being a bit contrived, in support of Joe Lively. Counting Silver Birch as British, and excluding Lord Gyllene as Kiwi, all the British winners had achieved a RPF at Cheltenham of 145+, except for Amberleigh House (bundles of Aintree experience) and Bindaree (a distant 4th in the Topham). (Silver Birch didn’t attain his Cheltenham RPR until the race before Aintree.)
In terms of the National fences, it is probably best to have been hampered or brought down, fallen at Becher’s, or been placed in the Topham, rather than placed in the National. Siver Birch had fallen when hampered at Becher’s, but had also won the Becher Chase; Hedgehunter had fallen when 3rd, at the last fence; Amberleigh House had more experience than I care to write, but he too had been brought down in a GN; Monty’s Pass and Bindaree were 2nd & 4th in the Topham; Red Marauder had fallen at Becher’s; and Mr Frisk had fallen at the 4th last when close up in the Topham (is that Valentine’s Brook? It ain’t marked on the map on the Racing Post website.)
Numbersixvalverde and Bobbyjo had won the previous Irish National, and Papillon had been 4th, 2nd and 10th in it.
A case might be made for horses having come in the first half-dozen or so in a Hennessy, but I haven’t investigated that, and have written enough.
I’ll get back to you after I finished inputting the remainder of the 240 or so horses for this year into the spreadsheet. Next weekend?
ByeDecember 7, 2008 at 07:01 #195044
11 year olds seem to be completely out of it and not sure about cheekpieces because not all that many horses wore them until recently….December 7, 2008 at 14:45 #195083
11 year olds seem to be completely out of it and not sure about cheekpieces because not all that many horses wore them until recently….
An 11yo will probably require Gd to Soft or softer ground to slow the others up? (Also help if it has been injured at some time, so that there aren’t so many miles on the clock.)
Cheekpieces are for horses that don’t like to feel crowded? Don’t know how they are going to avoid that at the Canal Turn and Chair. I wouldn’t be opposed to them.
A couple of winners have worn blinkers, haven’t they? (I’ll check.) I’ve always thought that blinkers shouldn’t be allowed in the GN, ever since Attitude Adjuster killed Dark Ivy at Bechers by taking his ground.December 7, 2008 at 17:01 #195118
in my memory recently only Earth Summit and Comply or Die have worn blinkers..and then I have to go back to L’Escargot..12 year olds don’t seem to have too bad a record, but the age of the winner seems to have come down slightly over the past 10 years; prior to that 11 and 12 year olds have a better record [2 years ago I sat down and wrote out the winning ages going back 30 years..I really aught to get a life!].We always go to our racing club National preview and a lot of old winning jockeys come along and no one ever tips the winner, but Eddie the Shoe in the Observer is good..however, he did tip D’Argent and Ardaghey last year…however Comply or Die was in his list of 4.the year before he tipped 3/4 and in Montys Pass’s year tipped him a week before the race..also Bindaree.December 7, 2008 at 17:31 #195128Irish StampMember
- Total Posts 3181
You have Comply Or Die, Earth Summit, L’Escargot and then using the very scientific method of looking over all the matchbox Grand National photo’s you go back to the WWI times to find the previous winner.
Mike Torpey in the Echo wrote you should rule horses in blinkers out as "in a race with 40 runners it helps to see where you’re going"December 7, 2008 at 17:49 #195136
I think someone pointed out that Compy or Die’s headgear wasn’t just normal blinkers and that he had more peripheral vision..more like a visor perhaps…December 7, 2008 at 18:07 #195144FriggoMember
- Total Posts 1593
If you ride a horse in the National like Murphy did Comply Or Die, blinkers are no hinderence whatsoever. If you were to get half a dozen ridden like that, however…
Back on topic, does anyone know anything about Over The Creek? He’s a big price, I’m assuming he’s met a setback?December 7, 2008 at 19:30 #195172
I’ve done horses A-C.
Church Island seems to fit the profile. 4th in 2007 Irish GN, missed last season, has had a couple of runs already this season.December 8, 2008 at 02:58 #195317
a couple that aren’t being quoted in the betting, but I think might be being aimed at the GN are Ungaro and Hoo La Baloo.
Can Ungaro’s run in the Whitbread be written off as just coming at the end of a long season, or doesn’t he stay more than 3m?
I’d really love Hoo La Baloo to win the GN, he only runs a bad race every 5 or so. He ran 12 times in 2007, and 9 in 2006. And for the breeding purists, his grandfathers are Northern Dancer and Arazi
For those of you having images of him running 2m around Sandown and Ascot, he came 3rd in the Whitbread, and ran in a 4miler last time.December 8, 2008 at 03:14 #195320shabbyMember
- Total Posts 638
What about Air Force One?…is the National on his agenda.
Seems the right type of chaser (maybe not on trends/stats) but a strong travelling, safe jumping staying sort with a touch of class.December 8, 2008 at 05:34 #195342
What about Air Force One?…is the National on his agenda.
Seems the right type of chaser (maybe not on trends/stats) but a strong travelling, safe jumping staying sort with a touch of class.
I’ve taken the 229/1 on Betfair, but Mann was quoted 16 March 2007 that the horse will be a Gold Cup horse in 2 years time (ie, 2009). Can’t do both?
(I was pigheaded, and on principle took the 330 for the Hennessy favourite, 230 for the Hennessy 2nd favourite, and I think 330 again for the Welsh National favourite to win the GN. Should this admission belong on the 2008/09 crazy ante-post thread?)December 8, 2008 at 09:04 #9565
Quite a few GN types are entered for the 1.55 at Cheltenham on Friday. However, who’ll be turning up?
Presumably Possol will be favourite, and he might not have much to beat, in terms of current form.
Comply Or Die, Simon, Mon Mome (just having a looksee?) , Trabolgan! (ditto?) It would be nice to see Church Island in the flesh . . well, at least on the box.
The (ex?) Gold Cup hopeful Alberta’s Run.
Hennessy withdrawal Character Building.December 8, 2008 at 09:08 #195354
Erm, sorry for this new thread . . . it was supposed to be part of the Grand National thread. I haven’t got the hang of using this website yet.December 8, 2008 at 12:43 #195357seabirdParticipant
- Total Posts 2924
You’re forgiven, just this once.
ColinDecember 8, 2008 at 23:50 #195513KendalCavalierMember
- Total Posts 337
Fair play Gerald. That’s a magnificent post and you need to be congratulated.
I am a bit of an amateur historian on the National and to me it is the be all and end all and all roads lead to it.
Pedigree, to me, is paramount. Old Vic was the third Sadlers Wells sire (in the space of just over a year) to have produced a winner over four miles when Comply Or Die won last year with Butlers Cabin (Poliglote) and Old Benny (Saddlers Hall) the other two and Sadlers Wells’ stallions will dominate staying chases for some years to come I feel (Kayf Tara and Milan will probably have their fair share in time with my hunch being that Kayf Tara will replace the much missed Roselier as the premier stallion for marathon chasers) . Of course Comply Or Die’s damsire Furry Glen (I believe he won the 1000 Guineas) as a sire himself produced NH Chase heroine Loving Around so he was always going to like long distance chases. Snowy Morning was indeed related to that grand but quirky staying chaser Him Of Praise. King Johns Castle’s pedigree was more difficult to predict. His dams side was and still is pretty much unknown but his sire Flemensfirth was himself by the mighty Alleged who also produced Hedgehunter and Monty’s Pass’ sire Montelimar. Personally there wasn’t enough for me to go on with KJC so I admit I disregarded him completely.
There are one or two very interesting pedigrees I have noted for this years race, which I am keeping close to my chest for now but if they appear in the entries in January I will let you know.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.