There is very little that can match the thrill of picking a winner in the Grand National, but this is often easier said than done. The 40-strong field always provides a hugely competitive affair, and the race is perennially full of drama and excitement. There are a number of factors to consider before placing a wager on this iconic steeplechase, and following the key trends will enable punters to begin narrowing down this sizeable field.
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The Randox Health Grand National is a gruelling test of stamina, and with thirty fences to clear, there are many competitors who fail to complete the four-mile circuit. The field is likely to be packed full of seasoned stayers, but it’s essential that your chosen horse has proven form over the longer trip.
33-1 shot Rule the World won the contest in 2016, and remains the only horse since 1970 to have been victorious in the contest, having never previously won over three miles. If your runner has been successful over the longer trip, it certainly bodes well for its chances in this historic race.
Cheltenham Form Doesn’t Always Stack Up
Diminutive chaser Tiger Roll became just the second horse since 1961 to be victorious at both the Cheltenham Festival and in the Aintree Grand National in the space of a month. Nine of the last 27 winners had previously competed at the Gloucestershire track, but only one of them was also successful at Prestbury Park.
The Gordon Elliott-trained nine-year-old picked up his unprecedented success just four weeks after wrapping up the Cross Country Chase, and he is likely to be back to defend his crown in 2019.
Age is Just a Number
Horses aged nine-years-old or over have a great record in the race, recording victories in 23 of the last 27 renewals. Whilst there are generally only a handful of eight-year-olds in the line-up each year, these are often deemed too inexperienced to come out on top.
Fourteen of the last 27 winners have been aged nine or ten, and with a strike-rate of over 50%, this appears to be a decent starting point when attempting to narrow down the field.
Pay Attention to the Weights
Bristol de Mai will carry top weight in the 2019 Grand National, and will be saddled with 11st 10lbs in this year’s renewal. Each horse is assigned a designated weight, which will be based on their ability, official mark and previous form.
Tony Calvin of betting.betfair has picked out a couple of bigger priced runners in his Grand National tips column based on the weight allowance, and he believes that Give me a Copper has been given a chance by the handicapper.
21 of the last 27 winners of the Grand National have carried 10st 12lbs or less to victory, with 16 of those runners having been assigned less than 10st 8lbs to transport around the Merseyside course. Only Red Rum (twice) and the impressive Many Clouds have triumphed in the last fifty years with a weight of 11st 8lbs or more.
It’s always advised to look towards the bottom of the weights in order to extract some value. It is significantly easier to tackle the legendary Aintree fences with a lighter load.
The Randox Health Grand National is one of the most anticipated events on the sporting calendar, and another thrilling finish is expected in 2019. By following previous trends, punters can significantly narrow down the forty-runner field, and potentially feel the euphoria of selecting a winner in the iconic steeplechase.