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Top weight in the Grand National – The reality

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  • #21499
    Zoso
    Member
    • Total Posts 479

    Why are we always told to avoid top weight in the grand national, everywhere you look you have somebody quoting trends and telling us that top weights have an awful record in the grand national but is this really true?

    The grand national is a 40 runner race.
    The last top weight to win was Red Rum (34 nationals ago).
    If there are 40 runners each year then surely purely mathematically speaking then the expected return from 40 years would be 1 winner carrying top weight in a 40 year time period.

    So as there has been one top weighted winner in the last 34 years, then this is suggesting that top weights have performed slightly above average in this time period and everybody has been sold a lie when told to avoid top weight in the grand national.

    There have probably been 1 or 2 joint top weights in this time period, occasionally you may have had a few less than 40 runners but the fact remains that to state ‘Top weight in the grand national is unlikely to win’ is a complete and utter myth.

    In fact if Synchronised wins this year then that would make it 2 top weight winners in 35 years, the average should clearly be 1 top weight winner every 40 years, so a synchronised win will clearly show us that top weight has an above record in the race. So to anybody who is ruling out Synchronised based on the myth about top weights then think again.

    #400105
    Purwell
    Participant
    • Total Posts 812

    The grand national is a 40 runner race.
    The last top weight to win was Red Rum (34 nationals ago).
    If there are 40 runners each year then surely purely mathematically speaking then the expected return from 40 years would be 1 winner carrying top weight in a 40 year time period.

    /quote]
    I don’t understand that maths at all, number of runners in the race has nothing to do with how often the top weight (0r any other weight) will win.

    Sorry I can never get the hang of quotes on here!

    #400106
    Zoso
    Member
    • Total Posts 479

    Fair enough, not everybody has a mathematical brain, im sure you have strengths elsewhere.

    #400114
    eddie case
    Member
    • Total Posts 1214

    Zoso, as you say the theory about top weights is rubbish, it’s on a par with saying horses winning it twice have a poor record but who said this, it sounds the sort of thing Tommo would come out with.

    Many were on the no horse above 11 st bandwagon but subsequently had to eat humble pie.

    Most stats are tripe particularly concerned with prices in races.
    I seem to recall McCririck stating favs had a shocking record in Cambs a few years ago, he said something like "only 6 had won in the last 36 years" and tried to make out you would have a better chance if your horse was 13/2 2nd fav rather than 6/1 fav.
    His assistant is good at this sort of drivel as well.

    #400115
    Zoso
    Member
    • Total Posts 479

    McCricks assistant is the ultimate embassador of useless misrepresented statistics. Certain statistics carry great weight such as a 3yo is much more likely to win the Arc De Triomphe than any other aged horse. The majority of statistics and trends are utter garbage designed to confuse the punter. The price of the horse statistics have to go down as an absolute classic and unbelievably people actually do follow these price trends.

    #400214
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8979

    Zoso – the percentage chance of the topweight winning is not directly related to the number of runners. Your theory would be correct if every horse had an equal chance of winning but that is not the case. The top weight is almost always lower than 39/1. Last year it was only 9/1.

    The national is a fantastic race for stats/trends followers.

    Here’s a stats based shortlist for this Saturday –

    Chicago Grey
    Cappa Bleu
    Junior
    West End Rocker

    With Sunnyhillboy knocking on the trends door also.

    #400216
    Miss Woodford
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1335

    There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    #400248
    Gingertipster
    Participant
    • Total Posts 28411

    Why are we always told to avoid top weight in the grand national, everywhere you look you have somebody quoting trends and telling us that top weights have an awful record in the grand national but is this really true?

    The grand national is a 40 runner race.
    The last top weight to win was Red Rum (34 nationals ago).
    If there are 40 runners each year then surely purely mathematically speaking then the expected return from 40 years would be 1 winner carrying top weight in a 40 year time period.

    So as there has been one top weighted winner in the last 34 years, then this is suggesting that top weights have performed slightly above average in this time period and everybody has been sold a lie when told to avoid top weight in the grand national.

    There have probably been 1 or 2 joint top weights in this time period, occasionally you may have had a few less than 40 runners but the fact remains that to state ‘Top weight in the grand national is unlikely to win’ is a complete and utter myth.

    In fact if Synchronised wins this year then that would make it 2 top weight winners in 35 years, the average should clearly be 1 top weight winner every 40 years, so a synchronised win will clearly show us that top weight has an above record in the race. So to anybody who is ruling out Synchronised based on the myth about top weights then think again.

    This may be of some interet Zoso.
    Something I wrote a while back.
    The first bit is about top weighted horses in general, but thought you might find it informative so kept it in.

    "

    You’d think higher weights do not do as well as lower weights in the Grand National. It is true that lower weights have won and placed more times. But is this statistic fair?

    Don’t think I included last year’s running in these statistics, but…
    In the last 25 years (24 Nationals) there’s been:

    933 runners
    782 carried less than 11 stones (83.82% of all runners)
    151 carried 11 stones or more (16.18% of all runners)

    In 1997 only 1 horse (Master Oats) of the 36 runners carried 11stones or more.
    In 85 (including Corbiere 3rd), 89 (The Thinker 3rd) only 2 horses of 40 carried 11 stones or more, in 90 only 2 of 38.
    In 88 (including Rhyme And Reason 1st and West Tip 4th) 3 of 40, In 1994 it was 3 of 36, in 98 (Sunny Bay 2nd) 3 of 37 and 99 only 3 of 32 carried 11 stones or more.

    In 24 runnings:
    74 of 96 placed horses carried less than 11 stones (77.08% of all placed horses)
    22 of 96 placed horses carried more than 11 stones (22.92% of all placed horse)
    However:
    74 out of 782 means only 9.46% of those carrying less than 11 stones were placed
    22 out of 151 means 14.57% of those carrying more than 11 stones were placed

    Therefore, those carrying more than 11 stones in fact have a better strike rate for being placed than those carrying less than 11 stones.

    Much is made of no top weight winning for ages.

    Yet in 1986, 87, 91 and 94 an automatic top weight took part from places like Czechoslovakia; at odds of at least 100/1 and up to 500/1. Hardly surprising they did not win.

    If adding up all the SP’s percentages of top weights e.g. 5.9 for 16/1 + 10 for 9/1 etc. (including 2 horses if dual top weights). It comes to 146.35 ‘/, 24 races = 6.09 for an average SP of between 15/1 and 16/1. Those are bookmakers prices with mark ups, so the true odds can be estimated as something like 20/1. Therefore it is hardly surprising no top weight has won for ages.

    Looking at top weights where betting suggested they had a chance of winning:
    Corbiere 11-10 in 1985 at 9/1 3rd
    West Tip 11-7 in 87 at 11/1 4th
    The Thinker 11-10 in 89 at 10/1 3rd
    Sunny Bay 12-0 in 98 at 12/1 2nd
    Monty’s Pass 11-12 in 04 at 20/1 4th
    Hedgehunter 11-12 in 06 at 5/1 2nd

    Added to that:
    In 2006 take out just one of the 40 runners (Numbersixvalverdie) out, and top weight Hedgehunter would’ve won.
    In 2005 take out two (Hedgehunter and Le Coudray) and top weight Royal Auclair would’ve won.
    In 2004 take out the first three home and top weight Monty’s Pass would’ve won.
    In 2010 only five horses carried more than Don’t Push It, including the second Black Appalache.

    In 2010, 19 of the 40 runners carried 11 stones or more, including 1st and 2nd. In 08/09 it was 16 of 40 including the first 4 home. In 08 it was 18 of 40 including 3rd, 4th and 5th. The race has changed.

    Top weights and high weighted horses run well at Aintree. In 2002 and 2009 11-6 was carried to second place by What’s Up Boys (Kingsmark 4th under 11-9) and Comply Or Die, just 4 lbs less than this year’s top weight of 11-10. Royal Auclair in 2005 achieved the same position under 11-10.

    Horses who could be Gold Cup winners aren’t often “risked” in a National. Only when proven not up to the task are they allowed to take their chance. It’s obvious those on the downgrade will find it difficult defying the handicapper.

    Horses should be judged as individuals, not by what weight they’re carrying. If a high weighted horse looks either well weighted or capable of improving in to a well handicapped horse, it should be considered in just the same way as one carrying less weight

    "

    .

    Ring any bells?
    Synchronised.

    If he gets beat I think it will be his jumping rather than the fact he’s top weight that beats him.
    Since 1985, backing the top weights with a chance (12/1 or shorter) each way would’ve shown a profit.

    Value Is Everything
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