The Racing Horse offer more key trends but this time for the 2018 Grand National so as to point the reader in the direction of the winner, if not, then at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners. We think we have found the winner in our 1-2-3-4 and will post our thoughts on Friday night...
This race is the biggest and famous race in the world though bizarrely does little for us personally, it is after all just a handicap chase. This gruelling contest is run over a trip of 4 1/2 miles and there will probably be close to 40 runners. These sort of races you MUST acknowledge the trends if you are serious about finding the winner. For example did you know that since 1978 only two horses have won carrying more than 11st 5lbs whilst the last 7yo to win was in 1940 - would you back a horse carrying more weight than that or a 7yo? You should not be betting if the answer is yes!
If we look for positive pointers there are some things we know and that includes horses that had won or finished placed in a National race of any description are worth considering. If they had run over hurdles at some point earlier that season is not a bad thing and we like those that are ridden up with the pace compared to hold up horses. Of course we are generally speaking but we also know Irish-trained horses have a great recent record in this race. Most important we must look for those who have won over 3m in the past.
2018 Randox Health Grand National
26/27: Ran no more than 55 days ago
26/27: Officially rated 137 or higher
25/27: Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
24/27: Had won no more than 6 times over fences before
23/27: Aged 9yo or older
22/27: Returned a double-figure price
21/27: Ran no more than 34 days ago
21/27: Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
21/27: Carried 10st 12lbs or less
18/27: Had won between 4-6 times over fences before
16/27: Carried 10st 8lbs or less
16/27: Finished in the top 4 last time out
16/27: Aged 10yo or younger
15/27: Placed favourites
14/27: Aged 9 or 10yo
14/27: Won by an Irish-bred horse
.9/27: Ran at Cheltenham last time out
.8/27: Trained in Ireland (inc 5 of the last 12 years)
.6/27: Ran in a previous Grand National
.5/27: Won by the favourite or joint favourite
.5/27: Won last time out
.2/27: Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
.2/27: Ridden by Ruby Walsh
.2/27: Ridden by Leighton Aspell
.0/27: Won by a horse aged 7yo or less
Some other facts
Since 1978, 120 horses have tried to win with more than 11st 5lbs with just two winners – Many Clouds 11st 9lbs in 2015 & Neptune Collonges 11st 6lbs in 2012
14 of the last 19 winners were bred in Ireland
Only 1 horse that won at the Cheltenham Festival that same season has won since 1961
The last 7yo or younger to win was back in 1940
12 of the last 21 winners had won or been placed in a National-type race before
No horse aged 13yo or older has won since 1923 or placed since 1969
3 of the last 9 winners ran in the Scottish National the previous season
9 of the last 15 winners had run over hurdles at some stage earlier in the season
5 of the last 16 winners had been unplaced in the National last year
Only three 8yos have won the last 24 renewals
Just one past winner or placed horse from the previous year’s race has won for 33 years (76 have attempted)
19 of the last 21 winners had fallen or unseated no more than twice in their careers
The last horse to win back-to-back Nationals was Red Rum in 1974
THE RACING HORSE VERDICT:
1st: Total Recall 12/1
The Ladbroke Trophy Chase Grade 3 in December was a prestigious staying handicap chase and a highly competitive edition run at a strong gallop, and in a time 1.4sec quicker than standard. The ground was good to soft but the form was very solid and we were impressed with the Willie Mullins trained runner. This 9yo has only had 20 runs so not flogged and is five wins from eight runs on either soft or soft to heavy ground. He fits our statistics and will be well ridden by Paul Townsend.
2nd: Regal Encore 33/1
This horse is hot or cold, usually cold but we have always believe he has a really big run in him. Has form on good to soft and soft ground and won on soft in February in an Ascot Listed race so tuned up for this. The win was under a good ride, travelling well and getting a flying jump at the last when it was needed. He's a top handicapper and performed with credit when eighth last year. Aidan Coleman rides.
3rd: Vieux Lion Rouge 33/1
Has won 11 of his 28 runs and finished 6th then 7th in this race in the last two years. The Pipes have always been certain he is a National horse. Absolutely loves soft to heavy ground and if it rained on the day that would not be a problem. A good bet to finish in the first four and will be well ridden by Tom Scudamore.
4th: Seayouatmidnight 16/1
This is a 10yo with only 16 races on the clock with a decent record when fresh. His last run was in a Class 2 Handicap Chase at Newbury on soft ground over 2m4f after being given a wind op and is entitled to come on a ton for the run. Loves heavy conditions and whilst he has a bit to find on the form book it could happen especially with 10st 12lbs in the saddle with Brian Hughes riding.
Today's Pacafi: click here
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