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How to pick a Grand National winner

Updated on April 7, 2013

How to pick a winner

The biggest Grand National field occurred in 1929 when 66 runners faced the starter - a record number for any horse race ever.
The biggest Grand National field occurred in 1929 when 66 runners faced the starter - a record number for any horse race ever.

Do you want to be a winner?

The Grand National is only weeks away and everyone around you has suddenly become experts on horse racing.  Each conversation turns to the Grand National and the runners and jockeys.   You try to join it but worry that you may be making a fool of yourself   so, what do you say?  How can you pick a winner of the Grand National? Could you really shut up your best mate that has picked the winners of the last 3 Nationals?  Here are some facts, figures and statistics that could help you pick a winner and make you sound more knowledgeable the next time the conversation turns to the Grand National horse race.

 

The jumps can be a challenge

The Grand National was first run in 1839 and featured a solid brick wall as one of the obstacles,
The Grand National was first run in 1839 and featured a solid brick wall as one of the obstacles,

History of the Grand National

The Grand National is a world famous horse race which is held at Aintree in the United Kingdom, and is ran over a distance of just over 4 miles. It is a handicap chase containing around thirty fences. Some of these fences are notorious for their severity, particularly Beechers Brook and The Chair. In recent years the horse racing authorities have worked in conjunction with animal welfare organizations to minimize the danger of these jumps, while still preserving them as formidable obstacles. The Aintree Grand National was first run in 1839 and featured a solid brick wall as one of the obstacles, but thank goodness this was abandoned after five years.

Facts will help us pick the winner

Most of the time the winner comes from the first eight in the betting.
Most of the time the winner comes from the first eight in the betting.

How to pick a winner

Looking back at the Grand National's statistics, some very interesting fact come to light. For example, only two greys have ever won this race, and the last mare to win was Nickle Coin in 1951. So already you can see that betting on a mare or a grey horse is not the way to go. Most Grand Nationals have around 40 horses running in them and this is enough to confuse most casual pundits. However a very useful thing to consider is that most of the time the winner comes from the first eight in the betting. So instead of 40 horses, just consider the first eight, this greatly increases your chances of picking the winner. From these horses that are in the top eight of the betting, you can again increase your chances of winning , by looking for the ones that have ran a race in the last month. In the past 20 years, all winners have ran a race within the previous 48 days, most of them actually running within the past month.

There is something about the 'R'

Not only has 8 out of 40 past winners names started with  the letter "R". but so have the Jocky's names;  Ruby Walsh, Robbie Power, Richard Guest and Richard Dunwoody
Not only has 8 out of 40 past winners names started with the letter "R". but so have the Jocky's names; Ruby Walsh, Robbie Power, Richard Guest and Richard Dunwoody

Some more things to consider

Another interesting fact about the winners of the Grand National over the years, is the age of the winning horse. By far in the lead, winners have been aged over 8, peaking at 9 and 10. The weight the horses carry is significant when picking a winner. Only two horse have ever carried over 11 stone, the very famous Red Rum, and Hedge-hunter. So, look very carefully at the weight the horses are carrying and if it is handicapped by having to race with more than 11 stone, don't bet on it.

Moving on now to the more coincidental statistics of the Grand National, and that is the names of past winners. Choosing a name that you like is the most popular way that the least experience gambler uses to hopefully pick the winning horse. So here are some interesting facts to help you make your choice. Since 1960 eight horses out of forty have had a name that begins with the letter 'R'. That's one fifth! I know what you are thinking, ' Yeah of course Red Rum won it three times.' Well I have only counted him once. Here are the others;

  • Red Alligator, winner in 1968
  • Red Rum, winner in 1973 1974 1977
  • Rag trade winner in 1976
  • Rubstic, winner in 1979
  • Rhyme n Reason winner in 1978
  • Royal Athlete winner in 1995
  • Rough Quest winner in 1996
  • Red marauder winner in 2001

Well that's all well and good but what if there are no horses begining with R . Then you may want to look at the second and third most popular, 'M' and 'L';

  • Merryman II
  • Maori Venture
  • Mr Frisk
  • Minnehoma
  • Monty's pass
  • Mon Mome
  • Lord Gyllene
  • Little Polveir
  • Last Suspect
  • Lucius
  • L'Escargot

 

 

 

In Conclusion

 So here are the statistics that will improve your chances of picking the winning racehorse in this year's Grand National.

  1. The winner will be in the top 8 horses in the betting
  2. The best horses will have ran a race in the last month,
  3. 8 or 9 year olds horses win the most
  4. Only two horses have ever carried more than 11 stone
  5. The winner won't be grey
  6. Don't back on a mare
  7. The Horses name will begin with An 'R' 'L' or 'M'

Here's a couple of late statistics

  1. The Jocky will have a birthday in May
  2. The horse will be trained in Ireland

Comments

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    • profile image

      Terry from Norwich 

      4 years ago

      Hi ,

      Seem to be old site , or am I looking in the wrong place for 2014 help ?

      Going this year and any help any one can give will be great .

      New to this lol . Tms_54@hotmail.co.uk

      Terry x

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Well, it must be Grand National time again, because this hub caught my eye. I will have to have a look for a horse beginning with R. I hope you manage to pick a winner this year.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      This is a fun hub! Tricia doesn't bet, but Pat does. Don't believe anything she says about how to pick a winner. Her last success was backing Rag Trade in 1976.

      Next year she'll have to refer back to this Hub.

    • jayjay40 profile imageAUTHOR

      jayjay40 

      7 years ago from Bristol England

      Thanks very much Kashmir56 for the very kind comment

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi jayjay40, great information for those who are betting at the races and very interesting has well !

      Awesome hub !!!

    • jayjay40 profile imageAUTHOR

      jayjay40 

      7 years ago from Bristol England

      Thanks for reading and commenting imranhaider

    • profile image

      imranhaider 

      7 years ago

      great but excellent hub.i like it

    • jayjay40 profile imageAUTHOR

      jayjay40 

      7 years ago from Bristol England

      Thanks Johnny Parker for the comment, I hope this hub brings you luck.

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 

      7 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      Brilliant, I'll print that out to take to the bookies.

      I love the Grand National, the year I went two Irish girls told me to back Hedgehunter. He fell that year when the race was in his pocket but didn't make the same mistake the next time.

      Great race, great hub, loved it.

    • jayjay40 profile imageAUTHOR

      jayjay40 

      7 years ago from Bristol England

      Thanks quiz Master, this was a new topic for me so I was glad to get some feed back. I am glad you found it interesting.

    • The Quiz Master profile image

      Warren 

      7 years ago from England

      Wonderful hub Jayjay.

      I went to the Grand National once in my life and funny enough somebody told me to bet on Irish trained horses or horses with Irish jockeys and I won 5 races because of it.

      You give some very interesting statistics here and it was a pleasure to read.

      Good work.

    • jayjay40 profile imageAUTHOR

      jayjay40 

      7 years ago from Bristol England

      Thanks Martyv for the comment. I always have a flutter on the Grand National too, it's great fun.

    • profile image

      Martyv25 

      7 years ago

      Great Hub. I am not a betting man but always have a flutter or two on the National. All I have ever been advised is pick a Horse with an Irish Jockey.

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