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Grand National betting trends


Bettors looking to pick the 2017 Grand National winner should consider these key Grand National betting trends for an insight into the numbers over the previous races, and as an aide to your main betting strategy.

0 - Repeat wins tough for trainers

No trainer has defended their National title since the legendary Ginger McCain in 1974. Only Nigel Twiston-Davies has trained more than one winner in the last 30 years. Mouse Morris won last year with RuleThe World and hopes to follow that up with Rogue Angel this time around.

3 - Proven success over 3 miles

Stamina is critical over the Grand National, so looking for horses with success over at least three miles is a good indicator for success - 24 of the last 26 winners had won a 3m (chase) before, while nine of the last 10 winners had finished in the first three in a race over at least 3m2f. 

3 - Handicapper has done well recently

Although low weights had been favoured in the past, the handicapper has done well in giving a chance to those at the top of the weights, with three of the last ten winners carrying between 11st 5lb–11st 9lb.

6 - Horses aimed at the Grand National

If a horse has been aimed at the Grand National, they would have normally run over hurdles in the current year - the reason because trainers hopes to protect their chase handicap mark. For example if a horse runs in a chase well early in the year, their handicap mark will be increased, making it more difficult to win the Grand National.

Six of the last 10 Grand National winners ran over hurdles in the season they triumphed in the famous steeplechase.

9-11 - Peak age for a staying chaser

Young horses often struggle in the race, mainly because they tend to have more speed than stamina.

The peak age for a staying chaser is considered to be between nine and 11 years old. Grand National trends confirm this, with nine of the last 10 winners coming from this age group. No horse older than 12 has won the Grand National since 1923, while horses under the age of eight have not triumphed since the 1940s.

13 - Not one for the mares

13 mares have won the Grand National which, on the face of it, sounds like a decent strike-rate. However, that’s where trends can be misleading, as no mare has won the race since Nickel Coin back in 1951.

18 - Solid jumpers

A horse that can jump well is paramount to Grand National success. To jump the large and difficult fences a horse needs to have confidence, which they have gained by jumping plenty of fences before.

This is backed up by the fact that 18 of the last 20 winners had only fallen or unseated their jockey at most twice in their careers, while seven of the last 10 winners had run between ten and 14 times over fences prior to their Aintree win. 

20 - Not a favourite’s race

Twenty of the last 26 winners came from outside of the top three on the betting markets, while only 11% of favourites have won the greatest race on turf. This identifies that there is value to be had further down the betting markets. The table below breaks down the Starting Price odds for all Grand National winners since 1952.

Year Winner with odds <21 Average Winning favourites
1952-1971  15 18.00 
1972-1991  15 17.80 
1992-2016 13  25.00  3
Total 43 (67%)  21.00  7

21 - Could it be Johnson’s year?

Champion jockey Richard Johnson is expected to make his record-breaking 21st Grand National ride at Aintree this year. He currently holds the record for most rides without a win. Will he break his hoodoo in 2017?

47% - Past experience not necessarily key

47%, or eight of the last 17 winners have jumped over the Grand National fences previously, meaning past experience on the course is not necessarily a major determining factor.

100% - Recent outing crucial

The last 26 Grand National winners ran within 55 days of the Grand National, meaning you should be wary of horses that have not raced in the build-up.

Apply this to betting

These Grand National betting trends should be used to aide your own betting strategy and help find value on horses, whether you back or lay.

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