BetBright: What history says about picking a Grand National winner

BetBright: What history says about picking a Grand National winner

Friday, April 7, 2017 Posted by Sam Cooke

Grand National weekend this year has seen a series of campaigns by bookmakers including a Tinder for horses and a secret formula by Carol Vorderman. BetBright went for the more traditional route of a detailed assessment of the runners, with a look into the archives of past Nationals to determine the ‘criteria’ for picking a winning horse.

Conor White, Communications Manager at BetBright told Totally Gaming: “At the top of the market there are some very special horses deserving of their short price tags but history has shown that the Grand National is every bit as much a test of character as it is ability. Therefore, this year as in previous years the Grand National will attract speculative gamblers all hoping to nab a winner at a big price.”

When it came to making some sense of the archives, the first criteria up was age. BetBright found that “when it comes to age, it is worth noting that there has not been a winner under the age of eight, in 75 years.” Three quarters of a century worth of races means this stat is probably worth looking into. For this year it means avoiding seven-year-old horses Shantou Flyer who is currently 50/1, Double Shuffle who is 40/1 and Le Mercurey who is 33/1 with BetBright.

The bookie also realised that “that seventeen out of the last twenty winners have been aged between nine and eleven”.

Arguably the most respected point of assessment for pro punters is experience. The last ten winners of the Grand National had run at least ten times over fences. This means that More Of That is ruled out despite being a well respected horse. Bar Rule The World and Red Marauder, every winner in the last forty-six years had a previous win over three miles, which makes sense as the Grand National is well known for being a gruelling race.

Another point worth noting is that thirty-two out of the last thirty-three winners had their last run within fifty days of the Grand National. In addition there has been only one Cheltenham Festival winner who has gone on to win the Grand National since 1961.

The four that fall outside of these categories are Just A Par 40/1, Pendra 50/1, Goodtoknow 50/1 and Viva Steve 60/1. So outsiders, certainly. But another look at the history books and you’ll see that seven out of the last ten winners went off at 25/1 or above.

Ahead of the weekend, BetBright’s White said: “The Grand National is perceived as a lottery but as in all racing trends emerge which can improve your chances. Is picking a winner tough? Yes. Possible? Of course it is!”

Totally Gaming says: If you’re one of those who picks a horse based on a funny name then that’s all well and good, but consider age, experience, when they last raced and whether or not they won Cheltenham amongst other things and the stats suggest that your chances should be notably better. 

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