One of the biggest sporting events on the British calendar is approaching, as the Grand National takes place at Aintree on Saturday, April 9th. As is typically the case, the day is one of the biggest betting occasions of the year, with newcomers to gambling looking at how to bet on the Grand National.
However, with 40 horses lining up in the race, one of the key considerations that should be taken into account before making a bet are the historical trends that point towards the most likely winner.
One of the biggest indicators that could help find the winner of the Grand National is the weights. It is the biggest handicap on the calendar, and always leads to fall out when the weights are announced in January. This year’s race has already opened up discussions surrounding weights, as two-time National hero Tiger Roll was pulled out by Michael O’Leary.
However, the trends do show that horses carrying over 11st have fairly rarely won. Tiger Roll won on 11st 5, but only four other horses have achieved that feat, including Many Clouds in 2015 on 11st 9. That could be significant in the betting this year, with Chris’s Dream, Delta Work and Minella Times all carrying more than that weight despite being prominent in the betting.
The Grand National is unlike any other race on the calendar, which means it takes a special kind of horse to win the race. The trends also back that up, as only two previous winners since 1970 have won the Grand National despite never running over three miles in their career.
Significantly, the second of those horses was last year, as Minella Times won the race. Experience of the National fences is also a huge plus that should be considered, as eleven of the previous 23 winners have jumped the fences before winning their Grand National. The biggest guideline to a horse’s chances could also be their mark. Excluding Tiger Roll’s second straight win back in 2019, all 14 previous winners of the Grand National have been rated between 136 and 157.
Trainers will be looking to keep their Grand National hopes fresh ahead of the big race at Aintree. The trends show that all 14 previous winners have run at least three times during the season. Meanwhile, of this 14 previous winners, 12 have run within 53 days of the Grand National. The only exceptions to this rule were Minella Times last year, and One For Arthur in 2017.
Those looking to use Cheltenham Festival winners as a benchmark for a run in the Grand National should also be warned that only one previous winner from the Festival has gone on to win the Aintree showpiece since 1961. That horse was the legendary Tiger Roll, who won the Cross Country in both 2018 and 2019 before winning the Grand National. Meanwhile, horses that have won or placed in the Grand National previously often have poor records when returning to the race.