With the Cheltenham Festival over for another year, it’s time to turn our attention to the Grand National.
The field is currently down to 90 runners (maximum field 40) so it’s time to take a look at which horses fit the statistics of the recent winners and which horses might emulate those winners to win the 2018 Grand National.
Last 10 Grand National Winners
2017 – One For Arthur
2016 – Rule The World
2015 – Many Clouds
2014 – Pineau De Re
2013 – Auroras Encore
2012 – Neptune Collonges
2011 – Ballabriggs
2010 – Don’t Push It
2009 – Mon Mome
2008 – Comply or Die
Grand National 10-Year-Trends
Winners have carried between 10-3 and 11-9, though 4 of the last 5 winners have carried between 10-3 and 10-11
25 of the last 40 horses to finish in the first four in the Grand National carried less than 11-0
All 10 winners have been aged 8, 9, 10 or 11
Winners were rated between 139 and 160
9 of the 10 winners were having their first run in the race
Winners had run between 3 and 6 times that season
Winners had run at least once in the same year
7 of the 10 winners had not run at that year’s Cheltenham Festival
9 of the 10 winners were trained in England
Grand National Summary
Regarding statistics, there is no such thing as a perfect Grand National winner. However, the last decade has thrown-up some strong statistics that may be worth considering in the attempt to find the winner of the 2018 Grand National.
12-year-olds and even a 13-year-old have won the Grand National but, with no winner older than 11 or younger than seven in the last decade, it could be worth discarding the likes of Carlingford Lough, Gas Line Boy, Saint Are, Raz Da Maree, Maggio, Lord Windermere, Double Ross, Bless The Wings, Alfie Spinner, Braqueur D’or, Flying Angel, Bail Des Iles, and A Genie In Abottle.
As seven of the last 10 winners side-stepped Cheltenham, and this season’s Cheltenham Festival was run on testing ground, it could also be worth avoiding those horses that ran at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
These include Definitly Red, Edwulf, Outlander, Sub Lieutenant, Anibale Fly, The Last Samuri, American, Total Recall, Gold Present, Sizing Codelco, Cause Of Causes, Shantou Flyer, O O Seven, Vicente, Traffic Fluide, Tiger Roll, Rathvinden, Beeves, Pendra, Double Ross, and Vintage Clouds.
If you want to try and get rid of another big batch of horses, with 9 of the last 10 winners being trained in England, it could be worth passing on all the other Irish-trained horses.
This list includes Valseur Lido, Mala Beach, Alpha Des Obeaux, Acapella Bourgeois, Pleasant Company, Bellshill, Children’s List, Ucello Conti, Morning Assembley, Road To Riches, Thunder And Roses, Wounded Warrior, General Principle, Bonny Kate, Pairofbrowneyes, Phil’s Magic, Out Sam, and Rogue Angel.
Casting aside those horses currently set to carry 9-12 or less may also be prudent as, with Minella Rocco an intended runner, the weights are likely to go up no more than 3lb even if those above Minella Rocco in the list don’t run.
That means only horses currently allotted 10-0 or more would get in the off the lowest-weight carried to victory in the last decade. Therefore, it could also be time to ditch Vic De Toumzaine, Cogry, Sir Mangan, Splash of Ginge, Mysteree, Minella Daddy, Relentless Dreamer, Knock House, The Young Master, Henri Pari Morgan, Dancing Shadow, Krackatoa King, and Goodtoknow.
It’s also possible to make a case for leaving the current favourite Blaklion out of the reckoning on a couple of counts. Firstly, he’s rated higher than most winners, whilst the last winner to have run in the race before was Mon Mome in 2009. Minella Rocco may also have a difficult task with 11-7 on his back, and possibly more if the top-weights defect.
Meanwhile, Regal Encore, Vieux Lion Rouge, and Houblon Des Obeaux have tried and failed before, whilst Rock The Kasbah and Seeyouatmidnight have had less runs than ideal.
Gut-feeling takes over from here on in, with the likes of Chase The Spud and Carole’s Destrier having to bounce back from below-par runs, whilst The Dutchman lacks experience, Third Intention looks a non-stayer, and Buywise is a dodgy-jumper.
Of those remaining, I’ve narrowed the short-list down to Go Conquer, Warriors Tale, As De Mee, Long House Hall, and Virgilio, all of whom have the potential to at least hit the frame off low-to-mid weights.
As De Mee tops my list as a former winner over the Grand National Fences, and he has the potential to improve further at this trip. Meanwhile, Virgilio is a winner over the standard Aintree fences at 3-miles and could go well off a light-weight.
It’s then Warriors take for third and Long House Hall for fourth, two horses who suggested they’d appreciate a marathon test for the first time when running well at Doncaster on their last starts.
Grand National Top 4 Selections
As De Mee – 80/1 Bet365 (5 places each way)
Virgilio – 100/1 Bet365 (5 places each way)
Warriors Tale – 50/1 PaddyPower (6 places each way)
Long House Hall – 100/1 PaddyPower (6 places each way)