One of the most important factors in the Grand National is weight because the Grand National is a handicap.
This means the best horse will often not win, it is the best handicapped horse that wins. The horses who have shown more ability to date will carry more weight and although the horses higher up in the weight have obviously earned their weight, the Grand National often goes to a horse lower down in the weights because they are yet to show their hands to the handicapper. A full list of Grand National runners and their weights here.
The golden rule for punters in the Grand National in past years has generally been to put a line through horses carrying more than 11 stone which is often almost half the field. However, when Don’t Push It won the Grand National in 2010 carrying 11-5 many stats fans had to change their approach to the race and now they confidently put a line through anything carrying more than 11-5 as no horse has carried more than 11-5 to victory in the Grand National since Grand National specialist Red Rum won his fourth Grand National in 1977. This could be bad news for the well fancied Synchronised and also last year’s winner Ballabriggs who are the two top weights in this year’s race, set to carry 11-10 and 11-9 respectively if they both run. Ballabriggs isn’t ruled out of the places though, in the last seven years the only horses to even place in the Grand National carrying more than 11-5 have been horses who have won or placed in the Grand National previously.
So what weights have the best record in the Grand National? Well, the Grand National has changed over the years from a handicapping perspective so to find out what the best weight to carry is these days it should pay to concentrate on only this century. It is easy to see why punters have often put a line through horses carrying over 11 stone, just two of those races in the last twelve years have gone to horses carrying more than 11 stone and on both occasions those horses were very well fancied at 7/1 and 10/1 in the betting. The most common weight band to be carried to victory since 2000 has been 10-7 to 11 stone inclusive, 66.6% of the Grand National winners this century have won with that on their backs whilst 10-6 or less has been the winning weight only twice in the last twelve years and it is worth noting that the lowest weight carried to victory during that time frame was 10-4. This is a clear indication that whilst you don’t want a horse who is too exposed in the Grand National, you still need a ‘class’ horse to win the race which is why that middle range of weights seem to be favoured. Find out which Grand National runners are favoured by their weight this year.
Are there any other factors that can influence what weight is most likely to win the Grand National? The going can seemingly have a strong influence on this. The general rule is the softer the ground, the lighter the weight you want to carry because of the extra emphasis on stamina. The Grand National is usually run on good ground and the above stats are mostly based on Grand Nationals run on good ground but it is worth noting what happens when the ground turns soft, especially with some rain forecast in the lead up to the Grand National. The last three Grand Nationals run on soft or heavy going have produced winners carrying 10-12, 10-5 and 10-3 and that would suggest that if the ground is on the soft side on Saturday we should certainly look a bit lower down in the weights. Visit Grand-National-Guide.co.uk for tips based on these requirements.