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Grand National High weights  

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  • #1325
    stevedvg
    Member
    • Total Posts 1137

    I’m curious to learn how different members are planning to approach the national.

    In the past, I’ve been writing off the high weights but Hedgehunter’s performances over the last 2 years have left me wondering if this compressed handicap has done its job and put the top rated horses right back into the mix.

    Any thoughts?

    Steve

    #50773
    Friggo
    Member
    • Total Posts 1593

    The way I approach it is that there was the old ’11st rule’ i.e. don’t back horses with more than 11st on their back. Bottom weight was obviously 10st. Now that you’re getting horse #40 on about 10-4 or so, I’d say you can go up to about 11-4 (i.e. a stone above bottom weight) before it’s going to be a Herculean effort to win.

    However, high weight has seldom put me off backing a horse for a place in the National. The weight doesn’t necessarily stop them getting the trip, it just tends to take the big finish out of them that a horse in the mid- 10st category might still have; see What’s Up Boys in 2002 and Hedgehunter last year.

    (Edited by Friggo at 1:43 pm on April 8, 2007)

    #50774
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    A case of treating each horse on it’s merits. I’ll be ruling plenty out, not because the racecard says 11 st x, moreso because they are either coming into the race out of form/won’t stays/badly handicapped etc etc.

    #50776
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3185

    General rules still apply

    1. Fallers/UR’s/BD’s this season <br>2. Not won at 3m<br>3. Beaten in the National before (and not won)

    There are a couple more but that rules alot of them out of it.

    #50778
    yeatsyeats
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2921

    Quote: from davidjohnson on 6:44 pm on April 8, 2007[br]A case of treating each horse on it’s merits. I’ll be ruling plenty out, not because the racecard says 11 st x, moreso because they are either coming into the race out of form/won’t stays/badly handicapped etc etc. <br>

    I go along with davidjohnson, I’ve no time for statmen, I mean where’s the logic that rules out a horse that’s been brought down this season?<br>With the top weights being favourably treated these days maybe one of them will be favoured with the ground expected to be near perfect.

    #50779
    Friggo
    Member
    • Total Posts 1593

    I have to say I agree in terms of brought down. Being brought down is a fate more likely suffered by a hold-up horse than a bad jumper.

    #50780
    stevedvg
    Member
    • Total Posts 1137

    I think the weight rule made sense prior to the "jigging around with the hcap".

    I think this for 2 reasons:

    (1) In flat racing, the further the distance, the less weight it takes to equalise horses.

    Therefore, the further they go, the more impact weight has.

    With the grand national runners being handicapped at around 3 miles, those receiving weight should be helped by the extra distance.

    (assuming, of course, they can stay – a far more important consideration)

    (2) If a horse is near the top of the handicap, he’s likely to be fairly exposed. And that leaves him vulnerable to a horse that’s less exposed (and there are 39 that could be).

    So, he  might place, but there’s almost certainly going to be a few that are (further) ahead of the handicapper.

    I had a play around with RSB usig the data I have (seasons 1991-2 to 2002-3).

    I used the rules:

    Hcap chase<br>distance 3m2.5f+<br>class A or B (the most competitive races)<br>SP < 16-1  

    11st or less: 133 wins from 1002 runners, 1.74% profit<br>> 11st: 54 wins from 431 runners, 30.87% loss

    The win rates are around the same, but the "class horses" represented poor value.

    Looking only at races with 14 runners or more, the cut off seems to be at 11st2:

    11st2 or less: 43 wins from 414, +4.71% profit<br>> 11st2: 8 wins from 119,  -57.14% loss

    (part perfomance is no indicator .. yada yada yada)

    However, with the weights being compressed, I’m not sure whether the high weights in the GN are still so disadvantaged.

    I’ll probably go with the 1stone rule that friggo suggested.

    (State of play won the Hennessy with 13lbs more than the bottom weight)    

    As for other rules:

    1. Fallers/UR’s/BD’s this season

    Wouldn’t that have eliminated the 2006 winner?

    2. Not won at 3m

    Agree with this

    3. Beaten in the National before (and not won)

    This would have knocked out Amberleigh House.

    Personally, I’d be happy with a previous loser as long as he handled the fences, seems to stay, is fairly handicapped and retains his ability.  

    Steve

    #50781
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17727

    Stevedg

    Not a stats person myself, but surely any study of high weighted horses has to take the ground into account?<br>There can’t have been that many 3m+ chases run on fast ground, but it’s a fair bet this year’s National will be.

    #50782
    Friggo
    Member
    • Total Posts 1593

    Great post, Steve. The ruling-out of Numbersixvalverde last year proves the point about BD, your comment on Amberleigh House was spot on, and the weight point you put up was a connection I had never applied to the National, but makes total sense.

    The ‘rules’ I tend to work by, although I emphasise that they are all rules of thumb, in very vague order:

    1. Giving away no more than a stone to bottom weight.<br>2. As few F/UR’s as possible, especially recently.<br>3. Winner over 3m+<br>4. Winner of an A or B, preferably a handicap (although if not it probably breaks rule 1 anyway).  <br>5. Decent course form a big plus, even if it didn’t win.<br>6. Trained for the National.<br>7. Doesn’t lead.

    And nowadays:

    8. A bonus point if it’s Irish. (A bit tongue-in-cheek, but the handicapper there is generous compared to his British counterpart).

    I also take into account the obvious things like ground concerns, fitness etc.

    I really think that nowadays there is a profile of the ‘National horse’. Most recent winners fit it, and ‘rules’ that folk use help find these horses in the field.

    (Edited by Friggo at 1:15 pm on April 9, 2007)

    #50783
    stevedvg
    Member
    • Total Posts 1137

    surely any study of high weighted horses has to take the ground into account?

    Is doesn’t have to, it’s only rough stats, not the 10 commandments. :)

    And, as you said:

    There can’t have been that many 3m+ chases run on fast ground

    means that looking only at good ground or better would give so few results that they’d be meaningless.

    Steve

    #50784
    robnorthrobnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4551

    Quote: from Friggo on 1:14 pm on April 9, 2007[br]<br>8. A bonus point if it’s Irish. (A bit tongue-in-cheek, but the handicapper there is generous compared to his British counterpart).

    <br>(Edited by Friggo at 1:15 pm on April 9, 2007)<br>

    One factor which points many Irish raiders at the race is the fact that there aren’t many chases of 3m 4f+ in Ireland during the season. Most of their decent long distance chases are around the 3m-3m 2f mark, and even the Irish National is only 3m 5f.

    There may well be a few handicap chases at 4m in Ireland, but off hand I can’t think of any.

    Rob

    #50785
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3185

    Steve, we’ve had a good run with the previous runners winning it but look back past Hedgehunter and Amberleigh and there’s very little depth.

    Lord Atterbury, Royal Auclair, Clan Royal, Young Hustler, Romany King, Suny Bay.  Not saying that they don’t run well, they do but when i’m looking for the winner of the race amongst the first to be thrown will be Joe’s Edge (still needs to find a shed load in relation to Numbersixvalverde) amongst others.  

    Course form is seriously important – Eurotrek and Bewley’s Berry feature highly on this as does Longshanks (albeit a little out dated form) and somehow Bothar Na.

    As regards to the "brought down" issue Friggo you’ve proven my point in trying to disprove it.  Most National winners race handy, hardly any are real hold up horses and in that regard those up near the front are far less likely to be brought down than those towards the mid or rear of the field.  The National winners stat on racing style shocked me when I read it a couple of years ago.

    Good Luck.

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