The stat attack today will be a little different. Whilst we will have one typical Stat Attack selection, the majority of our post today will be looking at Grand National trends which might help you to narrow down the field and find a winner!
THE GRAND NATIONAL
So, I've got to be honest, whilst the National is a fantastic watch, betting on it is a bit of a lottery. You can either go down the whole form study route, watch hours of replays and then hope that your horse doesn't get brought down by a faller OR you can just pull out your favourite pin and see where it lands. The latter method will be employed by people up and down the country this afternoon and what I like to do, is try to reduce the field to give my pin the best chance of landing on an elusive National winner.
THE TRENDS (2015-2022)
The National has changed a lot in recent years so our analysis covered just 6 renewals of the contest. If you go back further than that, the stats and trends will vary massively because the race is totally different now to what it was.
1. Had previously run in a Grade 1 contest - This is a crucial stat and one which you simply cannot ignore.
2. Had previously won a Grade 1/Grade 2/Grade 3 - This ties into trend one in that class is now one of the most important attributes to success in the race.
3. Had run at least 3 times in the current season prior to the race - Fitness is another aspect that it pays to respect. It is extremely difficult for any horse to win a National without sufficient prep races under their belt.
4. Had finished in the top 7 on their last start and on their penultimate start - This is a risky trend because obviously a lot can influence a horses finishing position. However, the logic is sound. It is very hard to suddenly bounce back to form in the National. Most winners will be on the upgrade and will be bang in form before they head to post.
5. Had started their racing career off at no further than 2 miles 2 furlongs - The changes to the National's fences and the implementation of the runoff area have increased the speed of the race massively. Horses naturally go quicker throughout and whilst it leads to a great test of stamina, it also leads to a greater test of speed and makes it so much harder to come from off the pace to win.
THE QUALIFIERS: ANY SECOND NOW, DELTA WORK, LONGHOUSE POET, FIDDLERONTHEROOF, RUN WILD FRED, GOOD BOY BOBBY, TWO FOR GOLD, DEATH DUTY, SAMCRO, COKO BEACH, AGUSTA GOLD and TOP VILLE BEN.
So we have reduced the field from 40 to 12, which does make life for our pin a little easier but we still need to push it a little further. This however is the stage in the process where trends can lead you astray very quickly!
6. Aged between 8 and 9 - This has proven to be a key age range in recent years but I am always a little nervous about ruling horses out completely on that basis because not all horses are created equal when it comes to age.
REMAINING QUALIFIERS: DELTA WORK, LONGHOUSE POET, FIDDLERONTHEROOF, RUN WILD FRED, GOOD BOY BOBBY, TWO FOR GOLD and AUGUSTA GOLD
7. Sire was either Irish or British - This trend is a little sketchy but again, from a logic perspective it makes sense and has prove to be an efficient way of narrowing the field.
FINAL QUALIFIERS: LONGHOUSE POET, FIDDLERONTHEROOF, TWO FOR GOLD and AUGUSTA GOLD.
In summary, the final four horses on our list seemingly have all the attibributes which have historically led to success in the National. Obviously, history doesn't always repeat itself, but from a form perspective, I would say that the first 3 in particular head to the race with solid claims and if they manage to get a good early position and jump the first 3-4 fences cleanly, I think they will have every chance of being in the mix at the finish.
Stat 1 - We mentioned early in the week about Kevin Ryan's record early in the turf season and whilst our last qualifier was poor he has one today which we know is well fancied and has been backed. On form he should have every chance of at least placing and with a bit of luck, he should be winning. The horse of interest is CATCH CUNNINGHAM (4/1) and he runs in the 3:15 at Thirsk.