The Grand National has always been a difficult puzzle to solve, 40 runners competing over 30 testing fences and a trip of 4.5 miles at Aintree. It needn’t be a complete lottery though with many trends pointing the way towards the winner and at least helping to narrow down that list of Grand National runners .
In recent seasons a couple of Grand National stats that punters previously relied upon have been broken, Mon Mome was just the fourth French bred winner in 2009 whilst Don’t Push It carried 11-5 to victory in 2010, previously the race was normally won by a horse carrying 11 stone or under. Those two stats had come close to being broken for several years so it is no surprise they were eventually broken. There are still some stats that remain very important though.
Arguably the most nailed on stat is that a horse has to have won over at least 3 miles to be considered a contender. The last 20 winners have all managed that and considering 3 miles is still only two thirds of the Grand National trip a horse must have at least some proven stamina. Other races a horse ‘must’ have won to have a chance in the Grand National are a chase worth over £17,000 (proves the class of the horse) and a chase with at least 12 runners (proves the horse can handle big fields).
Jumping is also put to its toughest test over the Grand National fences, they are like no other fences in the country and although a horse might not necessarily fall if it doesn’t jump round the National course well, it will definitely use up excess energy and lose ground if it makes mistakes. Grand National history tells us you can forgive a horse two falls but no more, all ten of the winners in the last decade had fallen no more than twice.
Horses also need a certain level of experience to win the Grand National it seems. Horses that are very inexperienced over fences often struggle in the race, even if they are very promising horses, and it is worth noting that the last ten winners had all run in ten races or more over fences. This stat could be key for this year’s National with fancied horses such as The Midnight Club, Junior and Quinz amongst the horses to fail on this trend.
Other factors to consider include age, no seven year old has won the race since 1940 whilst 12 year old winners are rare, there have been just three in the last 20 years. It is also worth noting that Paul Nicholls, one of the leading trainers in jumps racing, has not won the race from 44 runners, although that is a stat that should go sooner rather than later, it just goes to show how tough the Grand National is.
All these stats will help you to narrow down the runners for Grand National 2011. For useful tools to analyse the stats and a full list of Grand National 2011 runners and their latest odds, go to the Grand National Guide website.