This year’s horse racing spectacle has a new start time of 5.15 in a push to regain viewing figures. The TV companies are desperate to make the marathon distance handicap available to all and have given it a peak slot after all the football has finished and little other sporting events to clash with.
As ever, 40 horses will take their chance at Aintree with dreams and aspiration. In front of them are a mere 30 obstacles and 4miles and 2 furlongs. Many will fail but one will put their name in the history books for ever. My job is to help narrow the field down and hopefully select a few horses that should make a tidy profit. So here are a few stats which might help:
Just because a horse is 33/1 or 100/1 it doesn’t matter as over the last 5 years there have been 14/1, 25/1 twice, 66/1 and 33/1. Also perhaps ignore favourites??
Horses aged 10+ have won 17 out of the last 26 races. Horses aged 7 haven’t even placed for nearly 40 years!! And no teenager (horse) has won since 1923!! This points towards 8-12 year olds. This unfortunately doesn’t rule many out of the equation. 8 year olds have won only 4 times in 33 years with last year’s winner, Many Clouds, being the last.
Again, Many Clouds bucked the trend last year being a horse with less than 10 chase starts. You’ve got to believe that a horse who is experienced in jumping (more than 10 races) must stand a better chance than not??
With a race over this distance then stamina surely must be key. The last 44 winners of the National have at least won over 3miles, this eliminates a few, Ballycasey, Turban, Gilgamboa, Ucello Conti, Home Farm, Wonderful Charm, Third Intention, Double Ross, Present View, Buywise and Ballynagour.
As mentioned above jumping is key and the stat of 16 of the last 19 winners have never fallen more than twice in their career is a good indicator.
The Aintree fences are unique so previous experience is no bad thing but current trends indicate horses that have raced in either the Scottish National or Irish Nation have faired well. 4 out of the last 17 winners ran in the Irish and 3 of the last 7 winners competed in the previous year’s Scottish National. This year’s representatives are Goonyella (Scottish) Rule the World, No Secrets and Vics Canvas.
Don’t eliminate previous years entrants as five of the last 15 winners raced in the previous National.
Is not required for this epic race. In the last 20 years until Many Clouds last year, every winner had won no more than 1 race that season and had raced within 50 days of the off.
As the weights come out in February some horses can officially be ‘well in’. This means they have improved in races since then, so if they were handicapped now they would be weighted heavier. The horses which are ‘well in’ are The Last Samuri (12lb), Bishops Road (10lb) and Silviniaco Conti (6lb) but the best could be Cause of Causes at 13lbs. Cause of Causes needs a lots of horses to drop out so may not even get to race.
If you want to learn more about handicapping and the meaning of 'well in' you can read our Guide to Handicapping
So in summary, Horses aged 10 or above, officially well in, raced within 50 days and never fell more than twice in their career.
Good luck all and hope you can pick a big priced winner. Personally if Cause of Causes gets to run he will take some beating but if he doesn’t Silviniaco Conti or Saint Are would be my selections.