The Grand National is always a difficult race to predict with forty runners all competing for the one prize and when looking through the form it is common for almost every runner to seem to have a chance. There are certain profiles that appear to have a better chance though with all the recent winners tending to meet certain stats and by applying those stats to the Grand National field full list of 2012 Grand National Runners here each year you can often dramatically narrow down the betting options.
Age is a factor that can be used to narrow down the Grand National but at least a few runners as all the winners tend to come from the 8-12 age group. The last time we had a winner younger or older than that was before the war and most recently the best age group to back has been 9 or 10, the last six winners have all been covered by those two ages. With the winner expected to once again be between 8 and 12 at the very least we can expect Organisedconfusion to struggle despite being pretty well fancied in the betting as he is just 7 whilst 2010 runner up and fifth placed horses Black Apalachi and Hello Bud should both be amongst those too old to win at 13 and 14 respectively.
Weight is one of the best ways to rule out some of the Grand National runners, whilst it is safe to say the best record is with horses who have carried 11 stone or less in recent years it seems horses can win with up to 11-5 on their back. No horse has carried more than 11-5 to victory in the Grand National since 1977 (and that horse was Grand National legend Red Rum) and that is bad news for five horses this year who will carry more than that weight and they include two of the first five in the betting, Synchronised and Ballabriggs, who carry the most weight this year with 11-10 and 11-09 respectively. Weird Al, Neptune Collonges and Calgary Bay also look likely to miss out because of this stat.
Stamina is required in abundance to win the Grand National as no race in this country is run over a longer distance than the four and a half miles of the Grand National. It has been said that you need a two and a half mile horse to win the Grand National but the last ten winners had all won over at least three miles and surprisingly Becauseicouldntsee has never won over 3 miles under rules despite some placed efforts over further whilst the quietly fancied Seabass also fails this stat.
Experience counts for plenty in the Grand National as it is a very tough race, there are thirty massive fences to jump and thirty nine other runners to beat so it is no surprise that the last ten winners of the race had all had at least ten runs over fences previously. It seems the bookies are underestimating this stat this year as four very well fancied horses seem to lack the experience of the usual Grand National winner, Cappa Bleu and On His Own have had just six chase starts, Junior has had eight and Shakalakaboomboom has had nine runs over fences. The experience factor helps us rule out four of the favourites in this year’s race.
The above stats are ones that every single one of the last ten winners (and many other winners) have met but that still leaves 16 possible winners so to narrow the field down further we want to look at some preferred stats. You want the best jumpers in the Grand National as the fences are so daunting (almost half the field normally falls or unseats) so if you take out horses who have fallen more than twice that narrows things down and give extra credit to horses who have faced the Grand National fences before (seven of the last twelve winners had done) then only five horses are left, West End Rocker, Killyglen, The Midnight Club, Rare Bob and Vic Venturi. One more stat to throw at these runners is that 17 of the last 21 winners started the race with odds of 20/1 or under (and only three horses have finished in the top five in the last four years with bigger odds) and that leaves only West End Rocker and Killyglen who seem to have outstanding chances this year.