Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) 4m2f74y

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 The Racing Horse offers our RACECOURSE TEMPLATES, RACING TRENDS and BETTING ADVICE for the AINTREE FESTIVAL and the 2019 GRAND NATIONAL. This designated page will only contain information pertaining to the most famous race in the world.


This race is the biggest and famous race in the world though just a handicap chase. This grueling contest is run over a trip of 4½ miles over 30 fences and there will probably be close to 40 runners.

Trends MUST be acknowledged

Trends MUST be acknowledged if one is serious about finding the winner. For example, since World War Two only 7 winners carried 11st 5lb or more, and two of those were achieved by the Aintree legend Red Rum. More recently, since 1978 only two winners won carrying more than 11st 5lbs and that came from 112 runners.

Since 1970 all the winners, bar Rule The World (2016) had already won over three miles. Experience counts massively, all of the last 27 winners ran in at least 8 chase starts before taking on this race and, 9 of the last 10 winners won at least three times over chase fences.

There has not been a winner of the Grand National under the age of 8 for over 75 years and there has not been a winner older than 12yo for 85 years, look for horses aged between 8-12 and draw a line through the rest. 

  The last horse to win back-to-back Nationals was Red Rum in 1974, can Tiger Roll emulate that feat? We doubt it!

2019 Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Chase 3).

27/28: Ran no more than 55 days ago (96%)
27/28: Officially rated 137 or higher (96%)
26/28: Won over at least 3m (chase) before (93%)
20/22: Fallen or unseated no more than twice in their careers (91%)
25/28: Won no more than 6 times over fences before (89%)
23/28: Aged 9yo or older (82%)
23/28: Returned a double-figure price (82%)
22/28: Ran no more than 34 days ago (79%)
22/28: Carried 10st 12lbs or less (79%)
21/28: Came from outside the top 3 in the betting (75%)
15/20: Irish bred (75%)
19/28: Won between 4-6 times over fences before (68%)
17/28: Finished in the top 4 last time out (61%)
17/28: Aged 10yo or younger (61%)
13/22: Won or placed in National-type race before (59%)
16/28: Carried 10st 8lbs or less (57%)
..9/16: Ran over hurdles at some stage earlier in season (56%)
15/28: Placed favourites (54%)
14/28: Aged 9 or 10yo (50%)
15/28: Won by an Irish-bred horse (54%)
10/28: Ran at Cheltenham last time out (36%)
..9/28: Trained in Ireland (inc 6 of the last 13 years) (32%)
..5/16: Unplaced in the National last year (31%)
..3/10: Ran in Scottish National in previous season (30%)
..6/28: Ran in a previous Grand National (21%)
..6/28: Won last time out (21%)
..5/28: Won by the favourite or joint favourite (18%)
..4/25: Won by 8yos (16%)
..2/28: Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies (7%)
..2/28: Ridden by Ruby Walsh (7%)
..2/28: Ridden by Leighton Aspell (7%)
..2/57: Winners who won at Cheltenham Festival in same season (4%)
..1/33: Winners or placed from previous year, from 76 attempts (3%)
2/125: Carrying more than 11st 5lbs (Since 1978) (1.6%)
..1/78: Winning 7yo (1%)
..0/28: Won by a horse aged 7yo or less (0%)
..0/49: Placed horses aged 13yo or older (0%)
..0/95: Won aged 13yo or older (0%)


Below was our view a couple of weeks ago and although we got a little excited about things at the time most of it remains true. Even allowing for easier fences the price remains far too short about Tiger Roll and will set aside all the hype generated by the bookmakers and their pundit friends. We will look at the race in a sober perspective, using our trends to guide us to the contenders...

There is one thing we can confirm ahead of time (Sunday 24 March 2019 08.22) is Tiger Roll is trading at the most ridiculous price we have seen in recent times regarding this race!

Bookmakers are offering 7/2 about this little horses chances and as we go to post only Bet365 and SkyBet are paying best price guaranteed of the major bookmakers! Betfair are currently trading at 5.5 to lay and our suggestion is to lay, lay, lay at that price because two things are certain. One, he will start bigger than 4/1 on the day and two, there is absolutely no value in that price, and the chances of him following up are slim. The price is nonsense, there is so much that can go wrong in this race! Do NOT get sucked in even if you, like us, admire the horse and want him to win! This is CRAZY, bookmakers are generating this hysteria and do not believe stories about them losing millions of pounds if Tiger Rolls win, with 40 runners racing in a handicap this is the one casino race of the year they have the perfect overround.

Before we start removing pretenders from our short list can I take this opportunity to say it is ABSOLUTELY APPALLING that Gordon Elliott is allowed to run 11 runners in this race. Seven are owned by Gigginstown, had they not sold Don Poli and Outlander on Thursday night it would have been 9 taking the trainer's entries to 13. Billionaire Michael O'Leary sucks the life out of Irish National Hunt Racing and he will not care if he defiles the sanctity of the Grand National. Australia have the same problem with the Melbourne Cup and braggart Lloyd Williams, and its imperative racing has a cap of some description to ensure these people races keeps its integrity. For those that care little about this paragraph, if O'Leary had 16 in the Grand National next year, would that be deemed ethical? If not, how about 20? Billionaires, ego and sport are not a natural fit.

We are not opposing Tiger Roll because of the owners colours or a cheque book, it is because of value. He is the most marvellous little horse and if he won it would be because he is an athlete who loves to jump fences and been well trained! We wish him well and hopes he comes home safe in the best possible finishing position!

Back to the race and some immediate filtration. Because of poor trainer form ANIBALE FLY at 14/1 is not considered. Trainer A J Martin has a dismal 6-133 for 5% for this season. February and March show 0-24 for 9%.

27/28: Ran no more than 55 days ago and rated above 137. This removes JUST A PAR, STEP BACK at 25/1, ROCK THE KASBAH at 18/1, ONE FOR ARTHUR at 28/1, PLEASANT COMPANY at 16/1, GO CONQUER and VALTOR.


So far we have eliminated 15 and some of them in the top end of the market. Next on our shopping list is 20/22 have fallen or unseated no more than twice in their careers but we are putting this piece on hold for the moment because we think there might be more relevant statistics.

23/28: Aged 9yo or older (82%) is our next band and this removes a horse we like in RAMSES DE TEILLEE (7yo) at 22/1 and this might come a year too early for him and although he jumps well is what we call a flat jumper, but of course these Aintree fences have never been easier! DOUNIKOS at 28/1, JURY DUTY at 16/1 and MONBEG NOTORIOUS at 66/1 are also filtered.

The next trend is going to produce carnage but we are going to follow it through and it is that 22/28 carried 10st 12lbs or less (79%). At this stage we had hoped RATHVINDEN at 8/1 had survived the cull but no! Others to be eliminated include OUTLANDER, DON POLI, MALA BEACH, BALLYOPTIC, LAKE VIEW LAD at 18/1, MINELLA ROCO and WARRIORS TALE.

From here there is 13 of the 40 entries left and we are duty bound to remove some outsiders, who though they have escaped the rationale of the trends, have little to no chance of winning the race, our members might disagree from here.

Surely at the age of 14yo we can readily dismiss BLESS THE WINGS? There has not been a winner older than 12yo for 85 years and yes, he ran a tremendous race when third last year and big-field handicaps seem to bring out the best in him, but he hasn't been in the same sort of form this year. We want him to come home safe, be retired and found a good home. This leaves 12 (including TIGER ROLL).

Apart from a low weight there is nothing to suggest GENERAL PRINCIPLE has a winning chance though a place is not impossible, while FOLSUM BLUE will be out of the back of the television and not spotted for the first two thirds of the race by which time it might be all over. VALSEUR LIDO's last win was in a seven runner event at Down Royal but that was in 2016 and 13 runs since has shown nothing. Although a good horse in his time he represent more clutter from Gigginstown. The horses have qualified to run but this is ego throwing darts at a dart board.

 To prove our point Gordon Elliott told us about NOBLE ENDEAVOUR: "He needed the run when he ran in the Becher Chase in December. He took to the fences well that day. The ground will suit and he won't be disgraced." This is code for pot luck which proves/gives weight to our dart board comment!

This leaves 8 and of this 8 the only Gordon Elliott runner left is Tiger Roll. Who can beat him (given a kind trip)? SINGLEFARMPAYMENT is just 1-14 over fences and that is not enough to suggest an imminent win. TEA FOR TWO had a good 2017 but this season's last two runs show the letters P and U and that disqualifies him.

Tiger Roll apart we are left with five runners, they are in price order: VINTAGE CLOUDS at 14/1, JOE FARRELL at 18/1, WALK IN THE MILL at 25/1, VIEUX LION ROUGE at 50/1 and REGAL ENCORE at 66/1.

So, the Racing Horse verdict is:

1 JOE FARRELL 20/1 (SkyBet, William Hill and BetVictor)  2 WALK IN THE MILL 28/1 (William Hill)  3 VINTAGE CLOUDS 14/1 (general)  4 REGAL ENCOURE 66/1 (general)  5 VIEUX LION ROUGE 50/1

The Racing Horse enjoys visits to Rebecca Curtis's Fforest Farm Stables in Pembrokeshire. She is a four-time Grade 1 winner and won four Festival races. Curtis has enjoyed plenty of success with staying chasers in her 10-year career, and after losing half of her horses she is rebuilding her life. She has won the 29-runner Scottish Grand National with Joe Farrell and now has an excellent chance to cement herself as one of the top trainers. Of Joe Farrell she said: "Looking at his profile and ability he wouldn't be a shock winner. He has all the right credentials, but with so many runners and so many fences you need everything to go right."

Of course she is right about credentials but 9 of the last 10 had won 3 chases and the selection has only won 2. We liked the run of the selection at Newbury last month and with just 10st 2lbs to carry with Adam Wedge riding at 10st 1lbs he will be competitive. We note he is due to go up 3lbs for that Newbury run. He does make the odd mistake but his jumping looks a strength. We hope he is not ridden too far back but looks a great running on place chance at worst and he could win it!


For more information re Joe Farrell and Rebecca Curtis...



  Today's Pacafi: click here

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