Here are some stats to consider for Saturday’s Grand National.
Weight stats. Just two winners, Many Clouds and Neptune Collonges, have carried more than 11st 5lb to victory since 1982. In the old days, experts warned to avoid horses with more than 11st. However, the more compressed nature of the handicap suggests this no longer applies. The horses at the top of the handicap are the best ones. Simple as that.
Distance stats. The reduction in distance from 4½ miles to 4m 2½f, along with the easier fences, has led to the race being run at a much faster pace. Thus, horses still have to stay well to win. Eight of the last ten winners had run over a trip of 3m 3½f or more. Many Clouds and Ballabriggs were the sole exceptions.
Jumping stats. The Aintree fences aren’t as big or as stiff as they once were. The fence frames were changed from wood to plastic birch in 2013. Thus, it could be argued there’s no longer the same premium on jumping. However, just two of the last 22 winners had fallen or unseated rider more than twice in their careers. This year’s second favourite Rathvinden has fallen three times, once in a point to point and twice under rules. The 2017 winner One For Arthur has unseated on both starts this season.
Age stats. Horses aged between eight and 11 have won this race all but twice in the last 30 years. Twelve-year-olds Royal Athlete and Amberleigh House were the only exceptions. No seven-year-old has won since Bogskar in 1940. Ramses De Teilee is the sole horse of that age in this year’s race.
Starting price stats
People used to say “anything can win the Grand National” but 18 of the last 28 winners were in the first eight in the betting. That suggests it is not as hard as people think. Last year’s winner Tiger Roll has the best form and will start one of the hottest favourites in the race’s history. However, since 2000 only three favourites have won, and two of those were joint favourites. The average price of the Grand National winner in the last ten years is 33-1.