Grand National Tip

It’s that time of year again folks.

Grand National Day tomorrow.

It’s a race I live in fear of each year sweating over the possibility of her indoors picking the winner on the grounds that the jockey was wearing a pretty blouse. If so I won’t hear the end of it for a long time.

I have put a bit more effort into my own research than that. Remember however that hard work and research is a thing that tends to pay off in the long run but not every day nor in every race.

Below you can read my personal thoughts on the race.

Good luck to you no matter who you decide to back in the end.

 

 

John Smith’s Grand National Chase
(Handicap) (Grade 3) (7yo+) 4m3f110y

See live odds from multiple bookmakers

This year The Grand National has been shortened to 4m3f110y

One area that interests me is the number of runs this year horses have had.
So I will start there

Number of Races This Season

* The last 24 winners had the following runs that season
* 4 3 4 6 4 5 6 6 5 9 6 6 6 6 5 4 5 6 7 3 5 4 6 7 6
* Clearly having 4-5-6-7 runs this year is ideal
* None have won with 0-1-2 runs that year
* The following horses fail this and are rejected
* IMPERIAL COMMANDER is 12 with 1 run this season
* That’s not an acceptable profile with Topweight
* WHAT A FRIEND is exposed with 1 run this season
* QUEL ESPRIT is out with 2 runs this season
* His sire’s never had a winner beyond 3m 1f yet
* Stamina Weight and lack of runs should beat him
* ALWAYS WAINING 12 and has just 2 runs this season
* He is Flat Bred and doesn’t look likely to stay
* TREACLE will stay but he is also underraced
* He’s exposed aged 12 with just two runs this season

* The last 24 winners had the following runs that season
* 4 3 4 6 4 5 6 6 5 9 6 6 6 6 5 4 5 6 7 3 5 4 6 7 6
* SUNNYHILLBOY only has two runs this season
* He was 2nd in last years race
* I don’t see him repeating that this year
* He had 4 prepatory races last year and just 2 this year
* He had 30 days absence last year but now has 84 days
* He had 10st 5lbs last year and now 11st 4lbs
* That’s three big problems from an exposed horse
* He is hardly big in stature anyway
* He withdrew from the Gold Cup on the day
* That lack of prep run must count against him
* seabass has raced just twice this season
* He was 3rd in last years race when favourite
* Last year he had 8lbs less weight
* He also had 4 runs that season
* Now with more weight and only 2 runs I oppose him
* ON HIS OWN has raced just once this year
* He has a very worrying profile in other areas
* The least experienced winner had 9 Chase runs
* He has just 7 Chase runs and only 1 run this year
* He is a serious talent and has ability
* He may be a new breed of horses about to win this
* None before were remotely like him though
* Until one wins we should oppose his type of horse
* BALTHAZAR KING has just two runs this season
* That’s a big worry for an exposed horse like him
* He won the 2012 Cross Country at Cheltenham
* That was 3m 7f but not a true stamina test
* He is the only horse by his sire to win beyond 3m 3f
* Horses by Kings Theatre are 1-32 racing at 3m 3f +
* His 141 day absence also badly damages his chance
* The past 21 winners all ran within 7 weeks
* CAPPA BLEU has only raced twice this season
* The last 19 winners had won at least 3 Chases before
* CAPPA BLEU hasn’t done that yet
* 18 of the last 19 winners had 3-4-5-6-7 Chase wins before
* They had 11 4 4 3 5 4 3 3 5 7 3 5 6 5 7 3 5 6 4 5 Chase wins
* CAPPA BLEU has only won twice over fences
* With 9 Chase runs he’d be joint least experienced winner

A Recent Race

* It is very important to have a recent race
* The past 21 winners all ran within 7 weeks
* I’d not want a horse absent more than 60 days
* The last 21 winners were absent this many days
* 56 35 23 21 41 32 27 48 28 20 25
* 42 20 24 35 23 16 35 23 35 23 25
* Look at the absences of the Runner Ups
* Horses 2nd in the National had the following absences
* 30 45 49 25 27 21 22 22 100 35 23
* 63 345 28 16 44 18 42 21 23 23 102
* 18 of the past 22 Runners Ups also ran within 7 weeks
* I am prepared to have some leeway with 60 days absence
* The following horses fail this statistic
* IMPERIAL COMMANDER is absent 70 days
* SUNNYHILLBOY has an absence of 84 days
* BALTHAZAR KING is absent 141 days
* The above 3 horses are already rejected
* MUMBLES HEAD and LOST GLORY fail it too

Age Of Winner

* Horses aged 6 and 7 have appalling records
* They haven’t won since 1940 and few even finish the race
* Horses aged 6 and 7 are too young
* SAINT ARE is rejected as a 7 year old
* Horses aged 8 need to actually be 8 year olds
* Only 3 of the last 36 winners were 8 year olds
* Horses aged 8 haven’t the best recent record
* If you bet an 8 year old make sure it is actually 8
* Be aware some horses are younger than their age
* If Foaled after April 6th they are really under 8
* All 8yo winners were foaled early before the race
* Bindaree – Party Politics – Corbiere are the last 8yo winners
* They were all foaled early the year they were born
* They were all aged 8 and a few months
* Red Rum also won aged 8 and he was a January Foal
* Horses foaled after the day of the race are not 8
* They are just 7 and a few months old
* LOST GLORY is a only about 7.5 years old
* SOLL wont fully be an 8 year old form another 28 days
* HARRY THE VIKING isn’t 8 quite yet either

Back Class

* Class is important in a Grand National Winner
* 11 of the last 12 winners won in Listed Grade or higher
* The exception was Ballabriggs (2011)
* He had won in Class 2 race but hadn’t been tested in higher
* I’d argue he should be seen as a Graded winner
* He won the 2010 Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival
* It was a Class 2 handicap but he did that with Topweight
* That was more than worthy or a Graded win
* 21 of the last 22 had raced in Graded Class before
* The vast majority of the runner ups also did this
* The ones that did not were mainly lightly raced
* Having No Graded form is not acceptable
* The following horses have no Graded form
* TARQUINIUS – LOST GLORY
* COLBERT STATION has no Listed or Graded form
* That’s a worry but I don’t want to be hasty with him
* He won a 22 runner Chase worth 89k very easily
* Officially that Irish race was a Class 2 race
* I would view that as more like a Graded race
* COLBERT STATION gets a free pass on this statistic

* These Horses haven’t won a Listed/Graded race
* VIKING BLOND – SOLL – MAJOR MALARKEY
* ANY CURRENCY – HARRY THE VIKING – MUMBLES HEAD
* MR MOONSHINE – BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE
* THE RAINBOW HUNTER – SWING BILL – TREACLE
* OSCAR TIME – JOIN TOGETHER
* QUISCOVER FONTAINE hasn’t won in this class either
* BALTHAZAR KING has also failed that
* CAPPA BLUE is yet to win in Listed/Graded class too
* TEAFORTHREE has plenty of Graded form
* He has never won beyond Class 2 before
* That is a definite negative about his profile

Chasing Experience

* Chasing Experience is of obvious importance
* The previous 22 winners had the following Chase runs
* 27 12 12 24 14 13 10 11 37 41 14 12 24 17 25 10 23 16 9 14 28 14
* The least Experienced Chaser was Miinnehoma in 1994
* He had 9 previous Chase runs
* There were two more that had 10 Chase starts
* Horses with Under 9 Chase runs are unlike any past winners
* I looked at the Chase runs of the last 20 Runner Ups
* 11 10 24 18 11 13 15 23 14 20 10 11 9 19 14 9 8 24 32 22 8
* I would be wary of any horses with under 9 Chase starts
* COLBERT STATION only has 5 Chase starts
* That is 4 less than the least experienced winner
* We have to bear in mind the race is changing
* Last years 4th (Cappa Blue) had just 6 chase runs
* Mely moss was 2nd in 2000 with 5 Chase starts
* Lord Atterbury was 3rd in 2004 with 4 Chase starts
* The race has been maid easier this year
* COLBERT STATION fails this but I could forgive this
* He has a longer absence than the last 21 winners
* That’s only by 6 days though and I would ignore that
* COLBERT STATION – I would still keep him on side
* ON HIS OWN only has 7 Chase starts
* He fell in one of those in this race last year
* I rejected him earlier with 1 run this season
* JOIN TOGETHER has raced in only 8 Chases
* That’s a bit short of runs when he didn’t finish in three
* WIth two Pulled Ups and a Fall he hasn’t had many runs
* JOIN TOGETHER gets credit in many areas
* He will stay and he has backclass
* He also has a healthy of runs this season
* Against him is just 8 previous chase runs
* Especially when not finishing 3 of these
* It worries me he was a Novice just 12 months ago
* There is also the issue of field size
* His Trainer is on record saying he likes small fields
* All his wins come in fields of 10 or less
* In fields of 11 or more he is PU 7th Fell PU
* He’s been to 2 Cheltenham and 1 Aintree festival
* He has disappointed on all three occasions
* Profile isn’t quite right and has a few minor flaws
* CAPPA BLEU is short of Chase runs having only 9
* CAPPA BLEU is short of runs as well with just 2 this year
* That’s not many for a horse aged 11
* He was 4th in last years race
* He was younger then and had an extra run that season
* The last 19 winners had won at least 3 Chases before
* CAPPA BLEU hasn’t done that yet
* 18 of the last 19 winners had 3-4-5-6-7 Chase wins before
* They had 11 4 4 3 5 4 3 3 5 7 3 5 6 5 7 3 5 6 4 5 Chase wins
* CAPPA BLEU has only won twice over fences
* With 9 Chase runs he’d be joint least experienced winner
* CAPPA BLUE is yet to win in Listed/Graded class too
* All in all I want more from a 12/1 chance

Weight

* I think we should ignore the weight statistics
* The 2012 winner won with 11st 6lbs
* The 2010 winner won with 11st 5lbs
* Red Rum won with 11st 8lbs and again with 12st
* Corbiere won with 11st 4lbs and Grittar with 11st 5lbs
* L’Escargot won with 11st 3lbs and Gay Trip with 11st 5lbs
* I wont be ruling any horse out on their weight

Past Chase Wins

* 18 of the last 19 winners had 3-4-5-6-7 Chase wins before
* They had 11 4 4 3 5 4 3 3 5 7 3 5 6 5 7 3 5 6 4 5 Chase wins
* CAPPA BLEU has only won twice over fences
* JOIN TOGETHER also fail this
* Both of these have already been rejected
* NINETIETH MINUTE has won just 1 Chase start
* I wouldn’t want to bet him
* COLBERT STATION also fails this stat with 2 Chase wins
* That’s understandable as he has just 6 Chase runs
* He has a 40% strike rate over fences
* If we forgive him inexperience we can forgive him this

Handicap Chase Runs

* Past winners had ran in the following Handicap Chases
* 9 7 5 21 8 8 6 6 24 33 7 12 14 12 15 7 16 7 4 7
* Horses running in 5-12 Handicap Chases did well
* They won 14 of the last 20 renewals
* Every recent winner ran in at least 4 Handicap Chases
* IMPERIAL COMMANDER has just 1 Handicap Chase run
* COLBERT STATION only has 2 Handicap Chase runs
* JOIN TOGETHER only has 3 Handicap Chase runs
* All of these have already been rejected
* NINETIETH MINUTE only has 3 Handicap runs
* JONCOL runs in his first Handicap Chase today
* We know every past winner ran in at least 4
* JONCOL could have problems with ground and trip
* He clearly looks best around 2m 4f – 2m 6f
* I don’t see him getting home

Past Handicap Chase Wins

* Number of Handicap Chases won
* Recent winners had won the following Handicap Chases
* 3 3 1 2 1 3 3 2 3 6 0 4 4 5 4 3 3 1 1 2
* No past winner had won more than 6 Handicap Chases

Jumping Ability

* You want a decent Jumper of course
* The last 13 winners had not fallen more than twice before
* I wouldn’t rule a horse out on this statistic
* It is something to bear in Mind
* TATENEN has 1 Fall and 3 Unseated riders
* BIG FELLA THANKS has 1 Fall and 3 Unseated riders
* CHICAGO GREY has fallen twice and unseated as well
* AURORAS ENCORE has fallen 3 times and unseated

The 3 Mile Statistic

* Every winner since 1970 had won over at least 3m
* seabass hasn’t done that but I ignore that
* His 3rd in this race last year trumps that
* I have rejected him for different reasons
* TATENEN has never raced beyond 2m 6f
* His sire hasn’t bred a 3m 3f winner yet
* Coming from the 2m Grand Annual must hurt him
* He moves up almost 2m 4f in distance today

Horses Coming From 2m4f Races

* The record of horses from 2m 4f or shorter is poor
* This is worse when its a Chase over 2m 4f or shorter
* I Looked at horses from handicap chases over 2m 6f or less
* No exposed horse won doing that
* TATENEN fails that and makes no appeal
* CHICAGO GREY comes from a 2m 4f race
* More about his chance later on

* BIG FELLA THANKS also comes from 2m 4f
* He has a mixed profile for me
* BIG FELLA THANKS has ran 3 times in this race
* He was beaten 23 28 and 40 lengths
* All 3 times he had a bad profile and excuses
* I don’t think he has a disastrous profile this year
* I think he has a lot of weight for what he’s achieved
* He has more weight this year than for all 3 of his failures
* Not keen he comes from 2m 4f either when exposed
* He probably doesn’t get the trip and I wanted better

* WEIRD AL probably hasn’t got the guts to win this
* His good runs are rare and he is underraced this year
* There is a good chance he wont get home
* His sires runners at 3m 6f and more are 0-40
* AURORAS ENCORE is an exposed 11yo
* His sire hasn’t bred a winner beyond 3m 2f yet
* Not keen he has fallen 3 times and unseated already
* I don’t see him being good enough
* FORPADYDEPLASTERER has won an Arkle before
* You have to question his stamina here
* His sire’s runners at 3m 4f and more are 1-34
* That sole winner came at Cartmel in a Class 5 race
* He’s exposed and moves up almost 2 miles in trip
* I cant see him overcoming that
* NINETIETH MINUTE has won 1 of his 11 Chase runs
* 18 of the last 19 winners had won at least 3 Chases
* He has less handicap chase experience than past winners
* His form isn’t really good enough to win this
* Liable to hit some fences and he’s fallen twice before
* RARE BOB passes most of my main angles
* He was brought down at the 5th in last years race
* He’s exposed and could be vulnerable to improvers
* I do like that he has improved on all 4 runs this year
* His Racing Post Rating improved each time
* He’s had 4 runs here but hasn’t done much
* He was Brought down in one and Unseated in another
* He was well beaten in the other two
* He has won just 1 of his last 22 races though
* I looked at his record in Chases with 16 + runners
* 3rd 8th BD 16th PU 8th 3rd 4th 4th
* That doesn’t inspire me too much
* I looked at his form over 3m 2f and more
* He’s run this far 5 times in the past
* He was Brought down in one of then in this race
* The other 4 runs saw defeats of 65 59 19 12 lengths
* Not convinced will Stay this far
* He does have a fair statistical chance
* I just don’t trust him to do the business

 

Shortlist

* ACROSS THE BAY passes all my main angles
* He’s won 3 times this season probably not ideal
* That doesn’t take much away from a competent profile
* His Chase record is 7 2 W W PU PU PU 2 UR 2 W
* He has only finished 4 of his 11 Chase runs
* I’d be slightly worried he lacks the substance to win
* Drying Ground could also be a potential issue
* There is a doubt about his stamina in the class
* His Sire’s had winners at 3m 3f and 3m 5f
* None have yet won over further than 3m 5f
* The two winners came in Class 3 and Class 5 races
* He has lots of positives as well though
* He is W W 2 7 W this season
* That “7th” had a genuine excuse in the Welsh National
* He’s had a wind operation which could also help
* Bottom line is he is shortlistable but maybe not 1st choice
* He is too big at 40/1 and more on Betfair

* CHICAGO GREY was brought down early in last years race
* He passes the important angles I like in this race
* CHICAGO GREY has to be considered a potential winner
* I don’t like the fact he comes from a 2m 4f chase
* He is well raced this year and ticks a lot of boxes
* I do worry about his jumping which isn’t perfect
* Other than that there is a lot to like
* His trainer has a National Pedigree
* CHICAGO GREY also looks laid out for the race
* He certainly has the class but there are some worries
* Look at his career record in his 6 Handicap Chases
* He finished 4 of these losing by 25 38 51 50 lengths
* He Unseated rider and was brought down in another
* He has never ran well in a handicap chase before
* He started 20/1 9/1 20/1 4/1 9/4f 11/2f in these races
* He’s one of the best handicapped horses in the race
* CHICAGO GREY – It’s his jumping worrying me most
* It was fine last time but many times before it wasn’t

* COLBERT STATION – Shortlisting him at this stage
* Statistically he does not have a safe profile
* I have given him a free pass to the shortlist stage
* I have been very generous to do that
* I am not prepared to rule him out just yet
* I’m sure McCoy will ride him ahead of Sunnyhillboy
* I have to turn a blind eye to some of his failings
* At this stage its vital not to eliminate the winner
* I love his sire and he should relish the distance
* The fences are easier and the distance shortened
* It could be best to forgive his inexperience
* At this stage he is worth considering for a saver

* ROBERTO GOLDBACK passes my main angles
* He looks a very dangerous floater to me
* He does have a lot of weight with 11st 6lbs
* He also has a lot of smaller field form
* ROBERTO GOLDBACK has won in a 14 runner race
* He was kept wide though and I’m not convinced
* That said his owner bought him to run in this race
* He will either take to the race or he wont
* Not bad for a small bet around 40/1

* TEAFORTHREE has a lot of positives statistically
* He passes all my major angles for the race
* He is basically safe with a few niggles
* Not keen he was only a Novice Chaser last year
* That said so was the 1997 winner so its not a deal breaker
* I’d also worry about how he’s cope if its quick ground
* His last run was poor but that was excusable
* After the Hennessy and Welsh National
* He wanted a longer break before he ran at Haydock
* No Aintree form but neither had many past winners
* TEAFORTHREE deserves a place on the shortlist

* BALLABRIGGS won this race in 2011
* He was 6th last year but had a very weak profile
* He raced just once last season before the National
* He was only beaten 17 lengths into 6th place
* That’s a very credible run without more than 1 prep run
* He had some much fitter horses ahead of him last year
* He was just behind Sunnyhillboy -seabass – Cappa Blue
* BALLABRIGGS now looks fitter than them this year
* BALLABRIGGS has 3 runs this season 2 more than 2012
* Sunnyhillboy – seabass – Cappa Blue all have just two
* These 3 horses have a lot more weight this year
* BALLABRIGGS in contrast has 5lbs less weight
* He is 18lbs better off with Sunnyhillboy
* He is 13lbs better off with seabass
* He is 6lbs better off with Cappa Blue
* He has two more races this season
* Those 3 all had 2 fewer races this season
* I don’t see why he shouldn’t beat them and all of these
* I’d rather have him a bit younger and with another run
* He isn’t though and there are compensations
* One being so many here have 1-2 runs this season
* He’s done it before and will handle any ground
* He’s a safe jumper and I fancy him a lot this year
* I like the price but have to get over one thing
* His Age and weight with three runs this season
* Individually I don’t worry about his age or weight or runs
* Collectively when you combine all three I do
* I looked at horses older than 10 with 10st 12lbs in the race
* They had a 1-46 record in the last 16 renewals
* That was last years winner Neptune Collonges
* He was 11 and had 4 runs that season
* BALLABRIGGS is 12 and has 3 runs this season
* I have to wrestle with that but I have backed him

 

Shortlist Summary

ACROSS THE BAY – CHICAGO GREY
ROBERTO GOLDBACK -TEAFORTHREE
BALLABRIGGS – COLBERT STATION

My Final Selection

ROBERTO GOLDBACK 40/1 Win Bet

BALLABRIGGS 22/1 Win Bet

COLBERT STATION 12/1 Saver ( saver staked to roughly reclaim stake on other two if saver wins)

 

The odds above are from Betfair. Betdaq will offer about the same but are running a 0% commission offer for the Grand National.

If you prefer to go each way at a traditional bookmaker note that most offer five places. Beware a few tightwads who only offer four places. Bet Victor are worth noting due to them paying six places.

See live odds from multiple bookmakers

Best wishes
Guy
www.Mathematician-Betting.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Posted under Major Horse Races

Grand National Tip

I dealt with the Grand National last Sunday for full members and sent a long
preview with reasons why I felt CHARACTER BUILDING
had an outstanding chance and he is still my main selection.

He is about as fashionable as Drink Driving looking at all other opinions
but many recent winners were and if he can keep in contention for the
first circuit you never know and he still looks a very big price to
me at 33/1 so fingers crossed.

A copy of my analysis from last sunday is below.

AINTREE 4.15

John Smith´s Grand National Chase
(Handicap) Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (6yo+) 4m4f

* The Grand National has 17 renewals since 1992
* There are also 75 Handicaps in Febuary-March-April
* Thats 75 Handicap Chases over 3m 7f or more
* Thats 75 Handicap Chases with at least 12 runners
* Thats 75 Handicap Chases in Class 2 or Higher Grade
* This includes the last 17 Grand nationals
* It includes the Scottish , Irish and Midlands Nationals

ABSENCES

* It is very important to have a recent race
* The past 20 winners all ran within 7 weeks
* The last 20 winners were absent this many days
23 21 41 32 27 48 28 20 25 42 20 24 35 23 16 35 23 35 23 25
* What is also significant is the absence of the Runner Ups
* Horses 2nd in the National had the following days absence
* 49 25 27 21 22 22 100 35 23 63 345 28 16 44 18 42 21 23 23 102
* 16 of the past 20 Runners Ups also ran within 7 weeks
* There are over 120 English horses absent 7 + weeks
* None of these have won and I would avoid long absences

* BACKSTAGE has been absent since last July
* CALGARY BAY has been absent 70 days
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE has been absent 101 days
* STATE OF PLAY has been absent 304 days
* HELLO BUD has been absent 84 days
* Other horses that fail this include the following
* Majestic Concorde –  Or Noir De Somoza  – Dooneys Gate
* The Tother One- Nedzers Return – Grand Slam Hero
* Thats Rhythm – Frankie Figg – Our Monty – Starzaan
* Royal Rosa – Putney Bridge –  Imoncloudnine

HORSES AGED 7

* The last 7 year old winner of this race was back in 1940
* Horses aged 7 and unlikely to even complete the course
* QUINZ has to be eliminated aged 7
* QUINZ is not going to be 7 until May anyway
* He is no more than 6 years 11 months old
* I dont see how I can bet him given the record of 7yo’s
* Quolibet – Sagalyrique – Galant Nuit are out aged 7 as well

8 YEAR OLDS

* Only 2 of the last 26 winners were 8 year olds
* Horses aged 8 havent the best recent record
* If you bet an 8 year old make sure it is actually 8
* All recent 8yo winners were foaled early before the race
* Those foaled in Mid april and Beyond are not officially 8
* Bindaree – Party Politics – Corbiere are the last 8yo winners
* They were all foaled early the year they were born
* They were all aged 8 and a few months
* Red Rum also won aged 8 and he was a January Foal
* Horses foaled after the day of the race are not 8
* They are just 7 and a few months old
* WHAT A FRIEND is 8 and a May Foal
* He is technically still a 7 year old
* Other horses that fail this statistic are as follows
* Majestic Concorde – Our Monty – Belon Gale
* Junior – I’moncloudnine

HORSES AGED 13

* Horses aged 13 can also be opposed with confidence
* HELLO BUD fails that
* Especially when so lightly raced this season

PREPARATION (1)

* Exposed horses struggle with under 4 runs that season
* They have a 1-184 record in 75 Similar races
* The only winner was Grey Abbey – 2000 Scottish National
* I would demand at least 4 runs a year from exposed horses
* The Following Horses all fail this important statistic
* BALLABRIGS –  STATE OF PLAY –  HELLO BUD
* BACKSTAGE – CHIEF DAN GEORGE – SILVER BY NATURE
* NICHE MARKET – OSCAR TIME
* BLUESEA CRACKER – ARBOR SUPREME
* Other horses that fail this statistic are as follows
* Ballytrim -Faasel – Dev – Starzaan – Toby Jug
* Comply Or Die – Frankie Figg – Junior – Royal Rosa

PREPARATION (2)

* In the 75 similar races I looked at horses with 13 + runs
* These horses struggle badly with just 1-2 runs that season
* Whilst horses with 21 or more starts need 4 + runs that year
* Those with 13 or more runs need at least 3 + runs that year
* Those that did not have a 0-144 record
* Horses with 1-2 runs this season should be avoided
* The last 23 winners had the following runs that season
* 4 6 4 5 6 6 5 9 6 6 6 6 5 4 5 6 7 3 5 4 6 7 6

* The Following Horses all fail this important statistic
* THE MIDNIGHT CLUB who is favourite for the race
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE fancied as well
* Also failing this statistic are the following
* Our Monty – Majestic Concorde – Dooneys Gate
* Roll Along – Ornais – Surface To Air – Faasel
* Dev – Toby Jug- Gallant Nuit – Treacle

* Seasonal Debutants should be avoided
* BACKSTAGE hasnt run this year under rules
* Our Monty – Starzaan also have that against them

PREPARATION (3)

* Horses coming from a small field struggled
* Horses from races with under 9 runners were 0-104
* Not a strong statistic but worth bearing in mind
* BALLABRIGGS fails that
* THE TOTHER ONE also fails that
* Northern Alliance – Always Waining also fails that
* Skippers Brig

CLASS

* Class is very important in a National Winner
* The last 10 winners all won in at least Listed Grade before
* The last 20 winners had all ran in Graded Class Before
* The vasy majority of the runner ups also did this
* The only ones that did not were very lightly raced
* All exposed horses must have Graded Form
* In15 years no exposed horse won without Grade 1 form
* I would not want a horse without Graded Class form
* BALLABRIGGS fails that
* He’s now exposed and has no form in Listed or Graded races
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE has no Graded Form
* Other horses that fail this statistic are as follows
* Dooneys Gate – Nezders Return – Surface To Air
* Our Monty -Belon Gale – Grand Slam Hero – Putney Bridge

WEIGHT

* I think we should ignore the weight statistics
* Last years winner won with 11st 5lbs
* Horses with 11st 6lbs have struggled overall
* Only Red Rum had won with more weight in recent years
* I would not get too hung up with weight though
* Red Rum won with 11st 8lbs and again with 12st
* Corbiere won with 11st 4lbs and Grittar with 11st 5lbs
* L’Escargot won with 11st 3lbs and Gay Trip with 11st 5lbs
* Horses with 11st 5lbs or more won in 1965 1957 1954 1050
* The Precedents are there are last years winner showed that
* I wont be ruling any horse out on their weight

WINS THAT SEASON

* You dont want a horse with 2 or more wins that season
* Past Winners had the following number of wins that year
* 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 3 1 1 1 0
* Only 1997 winner Lord Gyliene won more than once that year
* BALLABRIGGS fails this statistic
* QUINZ fails that as well
* WEST END ROCKER fails that
* Other horses that fail this statistic are as follows
* Midnight Chase – King Fontaine – Golden Kite
* Skippers Brig – Putney Bridge – Sagalyrique

CHASING EXPERIENCE

* Chasing Experience is of obvious importance
* The previous 20 winners had the following Chase runs
* 12 24 14 13 10 11 37 41 14 12 24 17 25 10 23 16 9 14 28 14
* Least Experienced Chaser was Miinnehoma in 1994
* He had 9 Chase runs and two more had 10 Chase starts
* Horses with Under 9 Chase runs are unlike any past winner
* I looked at the Chase runs of the last 20 Runner Ups
* 24 18 11 13 15 23 14 20 10 11 9 19 14 9 8 24 32 22 8
* I would be wary of any horses with under 10 Chase starts
* The following horses had under 10 Chase Starts
* THE MIDNIGHT CLUB is favourite with 8 Chase starts
* Thats only really 7 Chases as he had one early fall
* THE TOTHER ONE only has 9 Chase starts
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE has only had 7 Chase starts
* QUINZ has only had 7 Chase starts
* Other horses with fewer Chase runs than ideal are:
* Synchronised – Majestic Concorde – Nezders Return
* King Fontaine – Ornais – Surface To Air -Our Monty
* Skippers Brig – Giles Cross – Starzaan-Gallant Nuit -Junior

JUMPING ABILITY

* You want a decent Jumper of course
* The last 11 winners had not fallen more than twice before
* I wouldnt rule a horse out on this statistic
* It is something to bear in Mind
* BIG FELLA THANKS fell or unseated in 3 of 15 chases
* SILVER BY NATURE has fallen in 3 of 14 chase starts
* NOTRE PERE has fallen 3 times before
* ARBOR SUPREME  has fallen 3 times before
* The following horses fail this as well
* Quolibet – Frankie Figg – The Sawyer – Pomme Tiepy

CURRENT FORM

* You want a horse that was 1-2-3 in at least one of the last 6 runs
* Horse that havent done that score badly in all similar races
* COMPLY OR DIE has not managed that in 6 runs
* ROLL ALONG also fails that

STEPPING UP IN DISTANCE

* The record of horses from 2m 4f or shorter is awful
* This is worse when its a Chase over 2m 4f or shorter
* No exposed horse won from a 2m 6f Chase or shorter
* The following horses have this to overcome
* BIG FELLA THANKS has to come from 2m 4f
* NICHE MARKET also comes up in distance
* Or Noir De Somoza – Dooneys Gate – Scotsirish
* Northern Alliance – In Compliance – Santa’s Son
* Askthemaster – Dev – Starzaan – Duers – Treacle

STAMINA

* Every winner since 1970 had won over at least 3m
* The following horses have this to overcome
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE hasnt won at 3m yet
* The following also fail this statistic
* Or Noir De Somoza – Scotsirish –  Nezders Return
* Quolibet – In Compliance – Santa’s Son – Piraya
* Faasel – Putney Bridge –  Askthemaster -Dev
* Starzaan  – Duers

HANDICAP CHASE FORM

* Recent winners had ran in the following Handicap Chases
*  5 21 8 8 6 6 24 33 7 12 14 12 15 7 16 7 4 7
* Every recent winner has ran in at least 4 Handicap Chases
* Horses running in 5-12 Handicap Chases did well
* They won 12 of the last 18 renewals
* I would like to see at least 4 previous Handicap Chase runs
* THE MIDNIGHT CLUB is favourite
* He has only ran in 2 Handicap Chases before
* WHAT A FRIEND has only ran in 1 handicap chase
* TIDAL BAY has raced in just 2 handicap chases
* OSCAR TIME has raced in just 3 handicap chases
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE has just 1 handicap chase runs
* The following horses also fail this
* Synchronised – Majestic Concorde – Or Noir De Somoza
* Scotsirish – Quolibet – Roll Along – Ornais – Junior
* Our Monty – Surface To Air – Starzaan – Toby Jug

O T H E R   A N G L E S

* Number of Handicap Chases won
* Recent winners had won the following Handicap Chases
* 1 2 1 3 3 2 3 6 0 4 4 5 4 3 3 1 1 2
* No past winner had won more than 6 Handicap Chases

* The last 18 winners had between 3 and 7 Chase wins before
* They had  4 3 5 4 3 3 5 7 3 5 6 5 7 3 5 6 4 5 Chase wins

C O N C L U S I O N

Whilst he is progressive THE MIDNIGHT CLUB has plenty
to prove as favourite when lightly raced and having just two runs
this year and at the price I am against him especially as he has just
two runs in Handicap Chases losing both. Others I dislike at the head
of the market as I see their preparation as wrong include
WHAT A FRIEND – STATE OF PLAY – BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE –
NICHE MARKET – QUINZ – HELLO BUD – ARBOR SUPREME –
BALLABRIGGS.
I’m against MERIGO as he doesnt look about to win and there must be a big form and fitness question.

POSSIBLES

OSCAR TIME doesnt offer enough given his price as He is
failing one of the strong stats. BACKSTAGE is technically
wrong with an absence but there is a temptation to ignore
that as he is Irish and has been Point To Pointing and that counts for something.
There will be a serious stamina doubt with him but you can argue he comes
from the same sire as Mon Mome the 2009 winner. I shouldnt select him
but he’s one of those that could win and it wouldnt shock me.
I dont  agree with people who say BIG FELLA THANKS does not stay.
He has been 4th and 6th in the last 2 Nationals.
Once when Under 7 years old and again when under 8 years old  and in
Neither race was he remotely equipped to win this race failing several angles
and his two performances in the race were remarkable. I really dont like the
fact he comes from 2m 4f but he does have a chance in this race.
Given a weight of 11st 10lbs DONT PUSH IT is bound to fail a weight statistic
but thats all he does fail and having won this last season and having promised
myself not to worry about the weight too much I think he is shortlistable much
as he has a stiff mark and the last time he ran over fences was in this race last
year which I dont see as an advantage.

WEST END ROCKER has plenty on his side considering
he is a 50/1 chance but I prefer others. I think Mares are
quite interesting in this race but BLUESEA CRACKER is
exposed and only has 3 runs this season and that makes
her unlike any recent winners. SILVER BY NATURE is
a big danger. He has been very impressive and probably
underestimated by many but he isnt for me mainly down
to the likely ground and the fact he is short of runs this
season. I dont see VIC VENTURI winning with so much
weight at his age but he passes most of the better angles.
So to does KILLYGLEN much as he is complicated and
has only finished in 5 of his last 9 Chases a big worry. I
think TIDAL BAY has a good chance and I have backed
him as well. He has a great Aintree record and has never
fallen before. Throw in Bags of Class and 50/1 there are
worse bets and he could run very well for an old rogue.

PROVISIONAL SELECTION

CHARACTER BUILDING 33/1

Getting his profile out of the way first have a similar
type winning. In 2004 Amberleigh House won when
an exposed 11 year old with 5 runs that season. It’s
also interesting that Amberleigh House had his prep
run in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster and thats
where CHARACTER BUILDING last ran. There is
a similar profile there and enough to be confident in
CHARACTER BUILDING that he is the right type.

CHARACTER BUILDING came 7th in the 2010
race beaten 37 lengths. That does not worry me for
several reasons. He simply was not fit. He had won
at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival. He ran just twice
in the next 15 Months and by the 2010 National
he had only had 2 runs that season which is simply
not enough for a horse like him. He went there as
unfit and underprepared and out of form. There is
more to his run than meets the eye. He jumped all
the way round. This is a horse who has never fallen
in his life before and that counts for plenty. In last
years race he proved he handled the track. He was
mid division most of the way. Some will say that
he is unable to lay up close to the front but I have
to answer that by stating he was out of form last
year and underraced that season and he wasnt fit.

I watched the video of last years Grand National.
When DON’T PUSH IT jumped the penultimate
fence in front CHARACTER BUILDING was just
3 seconds behind him staying on overtaking quite
a few horses. He then faded but he was entitled to
as he was not fit and he blew up and came home in
7th place. In last years race he was a 16/1 chance.
This year He has a considerably better profile yet
is twice the price. This year he has 5 prep runs to
go to war with 3 more than last year. He also has
7lbs less weight this year which must help. He has
twice proven himself at this distance. He’s proved
he stays marathon trips before. He finished second
in the 4m National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in
1997 when having a poor profile and badly treated
at the weights. He should have placed in this race
last year had he been fit. I see enough stamina and
Class there. CHARACTER BUILDING’s trainer is
John Quinn who’s won with 3 of his last 5 runners
and has struck form this week which must help.

So many of this years rivals are underraced and do
not have enough runs this season. The previous 23
winners had these following runs that season

4 6 4 5 6 6 5 9 6 6 6 6 5 4 5 6 7 3 5 4 6 7 6

CHARACTER BUILDING fits that like a Glove as
he has 5 runs. We know all past winners had under
7 wins in Handicap Chases and he does that as well.
Its also very interesting the last 18 winners of this
had 4 3 5 4 3 3 5 7 3 5 6 5 7 3 5 6 4 5 chase wins
and CHARACTER BUILDING fits in well with 3.
I can not find a better option and he looks the one

33/1 and 5 places at bet365 and s james
VC offer 6 places but are currently 25/1

Good luck.

You always need it in a race like the Grand National

Guy

Posted under Major Horse Races

Grand National Tip

If you like a Grand National horse don’t let me or my angles talk you out of it.
I don’t feel this is an easy race this year and I’m hopeful rather than confident.
You get just the one chance a year to bet the winner so don’t let me cost you the winner.

My Grand National selection (s) are these

HELLO BUD 50/1
NICHE MARKET 22/1

AINTREE 4.15

John Smith´s Grand National Chase
(Handicap) Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (6yo+)  4m4f

Forecast Odds

9/1 Big Fella Thanks, 12/1 Mon Mome, 12/1 The Package
16/1 Arbor Supreme, 16/1 Black Apalachi, 16/1 Character Building 16/1 Niche Market,
16/1 Snowy Morning, 16/1 State Of Play 16/1 Tricky Trickster, 20/1 Backstage,
20/1 Comply Or Die 20/1 Don´t Push It, 25/1 Vic Venturi, 28/1 Irish Raptor 28/1
King Johns Castle, 33/1 Ballyholland, 33/1 Can´t Buy Time 33/1 Maljimar, 33/1 My Will,
40/1 Cloudy Lane, Dream Alliance 40/1 Eric´s Charm, 40/1 Hello Bud, 50/1 Ballyfitz, 50/1
Cerium 50/1 Madison Du Berlais, 66/1 Flintoff, Nozic, Palypso De Creek 66/1 Royal Rosa,
100/1 Beat The Boys, 100/1 Conna Castle 100/1 Ellerslie George, 100/1 Joe Lively,
100/1 Ollie Magern 100/1 Piraya, 100/1 Preists Leap, 150/1 Made In Taipan 150/1 Pablo Du Charmil.

The Grand National is never easy but never as hard as
is often portrayed and not everything can win the race
as the old cliche goes. The ground could play a bigger
part this year as its drying out.
I think this years race has an unusual frame to it with no horses carrying less than 10st 5lbs
and 19 runners having 11st or more.
The stats that suggest horses don’t win with over 11st has never been more vulnerable as it is this year.

Not planning to have a huge preview of the race but very keen to get it right this year and I’m turning a blind eye to some stats.

My favourite Grand National statistic that applies to all
similar races in the first half of the year is as follows.

* Since 1992 there has been 65 Handicaps
* Thats 65 Handicap Chases over 3m 7f or more
* Thats 65 Handicap Chases with at least 12 runners
* Thats 65 Handicap Chases in Class 2 or Higher Grade
* This includes the last 16 Grand Nationals
* It includes the Scottish , Irish and Midlands Nationals
* Exposed horses struggle with under 5 runs that season
* They have a 2-337 record in these races
* They were 0-144 in this race
* In all races at 4m and more they were just 1-293

I would strongly avoid all horses that are exposed and
lightly raced this season with under 5 runs. This is why
I would make the following horses negatives.

Madison Du Berlais – Black Apalachi – Don’t Push It
Comply Or Die – Dream Alliance – Character Building
Pablo Du Charmil – State of Play – Cloudy Lane – My Will
Eric’s Charm – King Johns Castle –  Maljimar – Irish Raptor -Flintoff- Cerium – Royal Rosa. NOZIC is also short of runs.

It is a well known fact that the last 7 year old winner of
this race was back in 1940 and I couldnt have any horse
that age. In addition to those already opposed above I
would add TRICKY TRICKSTER who is actually only 6
years and 10 months old foaled in June 2003. Others aged
7 to be rejected are THE PACKAGE who has fewer races
over fences than all recent winners. PALYPSO DE CREEK
and PIRAYA are both out as 7 year olds.

* Since 1992 there has been 65 Handicaps
* Thats 65 Handicap Chases over 3m 7f or more

If you look my sample size of 65 races discussed earlier that covers every similar race to this as well
as this one they also show that you have to have been at least 1st  2nd or 3rd in a recent race.
In fact All 65 winners had managed to be placed 1-2-3 in their last six runs.
This should rule out all the out of form horses in the doldrums showing no recent promise.
It’s a trend  PREISTS LEAP fails. BIG FELLA THANKS deserves  massive credit for
finishing 6th last year as a 7 year old. This year he is 8 although not quite 8 for a
few more weeks yet as he was foaled late. I don’t like that about him. I hate the fact
he has just 3 runs this year and did not finish in one of those races.
I think coming from 2m 4f also hurts a horse as young as him and he has far too many
holes in his profile at a short enough price. CAN´T BUY TIME has a similar problem
age 8 and having to step up from 2m 4f with just 3 runs this season.
I can not find any similar horse winning in the 65 races.
The record of certain horses coming from 2m 4f or shorter is awful. MADE IN TAIPAN makes no appeal doing this. Neither does
BALLYHOLLAND coming from a 17f Chase and opposed for
that reason and because he has not won over 3 Miles before
something every winner since 1988 had done. BACKSTAGE
is also 8 years old and up from a 2m 4f race and I couldn’t get a similar winner to
him and he looks on the inexperienced side as well. CONNA CASTLE is out
exposed and up significantly in distance. Exposed horses that come from chases
over 2m 6f or shorter had a 0-66 record in the 69 races.
Thats one of the reasons why I am not convinced about  SNOWY MORNING.
OLLIE MAGERN looks wrong and impossible to fancy.
I feel JOE LIVELY has far too much weight for an exposed 11yo.
It’s  unheard of for an exposed horse like ELLERSLIE GEORGE  to  win without
Graded form. BEAT THE BOYS fails many angles. BALLYFITZ doesnt have a bad profile
although he doesn’t  jump well enough and I would not be confident he would get  round.
I hate the fact he has only won Novice Chases and he also comes from a hurdle race.

POSSIBLES

VIC VENTURA has to be considered. I think he has quite a
stiff handicap mark courtesy of being so consistent. I think  his rating and handicap mark hurt him.
Statistically having won 3 races this season he wouldn’t be like many winners  and coming from a
small field graded chase doesnt impress  me. My gut feeling is that although interesting in terms of
class and his 5-6 runs this season the price he is paying for 3 wins this season may be too high
and his weight may just  be the undoing of him.

ARBOUR SUPREME has factors I don’t like. If you look at
the 65 similar races that include the last 16 renewals of this race. Horses with 13 + career starts
absent over a month like ARBOUR SUPREME won 18 of the 65 races.
Those under 10 years old were 6-174. ARBOUR SUPREME is only aged
8 and that 6-174 record applies to all horses under 10.
Those without form in Grade 1 races like him were just 1-89.
None of them came from short of 3 Miles as he does.
He’s not the best age. Having 4 runs this year is no advantage.
Neither is stepping up from 2m 6f.
Combine all those factors and as a horse with no Grade 1 or Grade 2 form
I think a combination of all of them might prove too much for him.

MON MOME won this by 12 lengths last year carrying 11st.
He has 11st 7lbs this year. His weight was always going to
be his big problem. That said he’d have won the race last year with 7lbs
more weight and many past winners were clobbered more than he has been.
In a year I personally wouldnt listen to negative weight statistics much I’d give
him a better chance than many and I would have him as 3rd-4th-5th pick in the race.

SHORTLIST

NICHE MARKET –  HELLO BUD

I don’t much like exposed 12 year olds like HELLO BUD but
what few winners there were like her had similar credentials to him and I can ot rule him out at 50/1.
NICHE MARKET  has a good profile. He prepped really well at Cheltenham when he was wrong statistically.
I would have liked more wins and some form left handed but he has a fair chance.

SELECTION

NICHE MARKET 25/1
HELLO BUD 50/1

Blog comment : prices dropped a touch from the above which was given to full members earlier

Hello Bud now 40/1 Coral VC Ladbrokes canbet or 48/1 betfair

Niche Market now 20/1 sjames VC bet365  or 23/1 betfair

Posted under Major Horse Races

Grand National

Below is my Grand National Analysis from last year.

Hedgehunter did not do the business unfortunately however the 25/1 advised was great value compared to the 10 /1 starting price on the day.

Many of my clients traded back on betfair for a risk free bet to nothing.

AINTREE 4:15 – JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL CHASE (HANDICAP) GRADE 3 (CLASS 1) (6yo+) 4m4f

5/1 Cloudy Lane – 9/1 Slim Pickings – 10/1 Comply Or Die – 12/1 Bewleys Berry – 12/1 Simon – 14/1 Chelsea Harbour – 16/1 Butlers Cabin  20/1 King Johns Castle – 20/1 Mckelvey – 22/1 Mr Pointment – 22/1 Point Barrow – 25/1 D’argent  – 25/1 Dun Doire – 25/1 Hedgehunter  25/1 Mon Mome – 25/1 Philson Run – 25/1 Snowy Morning -33/1 Lami – 33/1 Turko – 40/1 Black Apalachi – 40/1 Joaaci – 40/1 Kelami  50/1 Backbeat – 50/1 Baily Breeze – 50/1 Idle Talk – 50/1 Knowhere – 50/1 Vodka Bleu – 66/1 Fundamentalist – 66/1 Madison Du Berlais 66/1 Naunton Brook – 66/1 Opera Mundi – 100/1 Bob Hall  -100/1 Cornish Sett – 100/1 Hi Cloy- 100/1 Iron Man – 100/1 Milan Deux Mille   100/1 No Full – 100/1Tumbling Dice -150/1 Nadover – 500/1 Contraband

Statistics are no substitute for Judgement. They can help a great deal but it’s the Judgement that counts and the ability to define and interpret any statistics that is important and that’s what I hope to do with this year’s Grand National. As ever there is an overdose of trends and statistics that can be found anywhere and everywhere. Not many of them make any real sense or work as they should do. I have my own Unique set of trends this year that I feel will Unlock the winner. I intend to support and follow the statistics that make sense and that are undeniable. I intend to ignore the statistics that are simply wrong – misleading or misunderstood but I also want to highlight the real issues in the Grand National that are not in the Public Domain.

The Main point of trends and statistics is to Narrow the Field down as much as possible without missing the winner. There are some trends that are well known that do make sense and that cannot be ignored and I will start with these. It is an inescapabable conclusion that you do not want a 6 or 7 year old. There has not been one for 68 years and it’s pretty clear that it’s highly unlikely to be different this year.  In the last 16 years of the National only one horse aged 6 or 7 has even managed to finish the course. I have to ignore the slim claims of the 6 year olds TURKO , OPERA MUNDI and MILAN DEUX MILLE and the 7 year olds MADISON DU BERLAIS – IRON MAN – NO FULL ,  BOB HALL – NADOVER and IN THE HIGH GRASS. The field is now down to 31 runners.

SEPERATE ENGLISH HORSES

I take the view that before you apply trends in this race you have to separate the English Horses from the Irish horses. That’s something nobody else does but it makes perfect sense to do that if you think about it. The English horses have completely different seasons on different tracks and the Racing Calendar is geared to so types of races that you do not see in Ireland and many big races in England and Ireland are at different times of year and suit different types of horses. Training methods are different. The weather and ground is often different and whilst some Irish horses often race in England and vice versa you cannot escape the conclusion that the Irish horses get to Aintree having had a very different season and a separate type of preparation. As to which country holds the upper hand it’s been Ireland recently as they have won the last 3 runnings of the race and 4 of the last 5 runnings. I want to fully test all the English runners in this race and when I am satisfied that I have the very best English runners I will then consider them against their Irish opponents. I am looking at

* The English trained horses that ran in the Grand National since 1994

* The English trained horses that ran in 46 similar races run between January and June since 1998

* There has been 46 handicaps between 3m 7f and 4m 4f in Class 2 and higher during that time

EXPOSED ENGLISH HORSES

Having complied detailed statistics on horse racing every day for years much has been learnt along the way. What I have learnt is that when statistics Fail – or at least when the interpretation of them fails it is far more likely to have been done by a lighter raced and unexposed horse than an exposed one. Horses grow in strength and maturity but there comes a peak in their development when the improvement usually stops or declines and the handicapper catches up with them.  Horses that have yet to reach that point can do things that exposed horses cannot do. If a horse does something that’s never been done before it’s far more likely that the horse will have been unexposed and lighter raced than over exposed and lacking any great improvement. You have to put a Numerical value on how exposed is exposed before you can apply statistics about these types. It doesn’t matter what that number is. The higher the number of races a horse has had the less capable it will be of doing things other horses cannot do and that’s a really important point. Whether a horse has 5-10-15-20-25-30 runs before is all irrelevant until you compare that horse with others that have the similar level of exposure. For purposes of this piece of Analysis I am looking hard at the runners that are trained in England that have had over 20 career National Hunt Starts. Any horse that has over 20 National Hunt Career starts I intend to refer to as “Exposed”. Those horses with fewer National Hunt starts I will refer to as “Unexposed”.

EXPOSED HORSES WITH UNDER 5 RACES THAT SEASON

What strikes me as significant is how some English horses that look underraced and that have light seasons have appalling records in both this race and all similar races at this time of year. I don’t have a problem with an unexposed horse being lightly raced. It’s the exposed types that have over 20 national hunt races that are the problem and that fail.  MIINNEHOMA won in 1994 with just 2 runs that season but he was not exposed. There has not been an English exposed horse with a National with under  5 races that season and there has been well over a Hundred that tried and failed. That’s a Damming trend that shows that the only horses that can overcome a light season and lack of warm up runs are the lightly raced and progressive types. The exposed horses that have no progression and that have shown all their hand to the handicapper have failed miserably to win this race. Several were beaten favourites. Only last year we had 2 horses that started favourite that had under 4 runs that year. JOES EDGE and MONKERHOSTIN were both heavily backed into joint favouritism and both ran badly. Both were clearly over exposed and underraced.  Exposed horses win this race. Underraced horses can win this as well but combine an Exposed Horse with an Underraced one that had under 4 runs this season and you have miserable results. It is not just the National that these horses fail in. Look at the 46 other races I mentioned at the top of the piece.

* There has been 46 handicaps between 3m 7f and 4m 4f in Class 2 and higher between January and June since 1998
* Exposed English Horses (21 + National Hunt starts) that had Under 5 runs that season had a 1-259 record

I looked at all 46 similar races to this between January and June. These were all high class handicap chases over marathon distances. That tells me I have to avoid exposed horses that have had over 20 career starts when they have had very light preparations. In these 46 races English horses that can be said to be exposed with 21 or more previous races had a miserable 1-259 record when they had under 5 runs that season. The only horses that managed it was 2004 Scottish National winner Grey Abbey. In this race I would both confidently and automatically rule out Exposed English horses that have had a very light preparation as I consider them to be both underraced and ill-prepared. I List these Horses now and they include some fancied runners MADISON DU BERLAIS – CONTRABAND – CORNISH SETT all fail this statistic and are easy to oppose any way at huge prices but so to do some of the fancied horses.  D’ARGENT appeals to quite a few people around 40/1 but he fails my statistic with 26 career runs and just 4 runs this season where he only finished 3 of these races.  JOES EDGE started favourite last year but he has a horrible profile this year. Over exposed and with 2 runs this year he looks easy to discount. He has only completed in one run this season. I feel that MON MOME has been too lightly raced this year. Only finishing 2 of his 3 races he is not for me. Now we have two fancied horses that fail my main statistic in this race. Both MCKELVEY and SIMON also look the wrong types on this trend. MCKELVEY was second last year and ran really well but he was unexposed last year and had considerably more prep runs and 10lbs less weight and I don’t fancy him at all this year. SIMON also fails my statistic and he is harder to reject. I backed him ante post last year and selected him to win the race. SIMON fell when going really well 6 fences from home. He came into 2007 on a roll after two impressive wins. This year the main differences are that he carries 10lbs more weight this year. That’s quite a lot and you would have to satisfy yourself that he would have won last year to think he can carry 11st 7lbs this year especially for a horse that is not overbig. He had 5 runs last year in his preparation. He had ran 134 furlongs in his prep runs last year but this year he has had under 100 furlongs of racing in just 4 runs which included a race he did not complete. I thought long and hard about forgiving him and shortlisting him the combination of extra weight and an inferior preparation has left me thinking his chance came and went last year.

ENGLISH HORSES AGED 11 OR MORE WITH UNDER 5 RACES THAT SEASON

I said earlier how I am happy to consider horses with few runs this year as long as they are unexposed and that have under 20 career starts. What I don’t want to do is bet English horses aged 11 or more that have under 5 runs that season. I can’t have these horses regardless of how exposed they are. This is an age that really struggle to win long distance handicap chases at this time of year without several prep races. Since 1998 there has been 46 handicaps between 3m 7f and 4m 4f in Class 2 and higher between January and June. Horses aged 11 or more that had under 5 races that season had a 0-138 record.  It takes longer for older horses to get to a point where they have achieved full fitness and this is not a race for the Unfit. I don’t want to ignore that 0-138 record as it’s covering the 46 most similar races to this and 52 of those horses were in this race and none came second. This is why I feel the likes of 12 year old PHILSON RUN and 11 year old OSSMOSES are unlikely winners because of poor preparations. D’ARGENT also fails that with 4 runs this season as does BACKBEAT and JOES EDGE.

ENGLISH HORSES ABSENT 60 + DAYS

I very much doubt you will see an English horse defy an absence of 2 Months or more to win this race. Since 1993 there were 105 horses trained in England in this race that had been absent from the track 7 weeks or more and None of the 105 won. It goes deeper than that. I looked at 46 handicaps between 3m 7f and 4m 4f in Class 2 and higher between January and June. Only 1 managed to win. That was Gingembre who won the 2001 Scottish National with a 89 day absence and he went and won the following years Hennessy. The only winner with more than 2 months absence – I have to oppose these horses –  MADISON DU BERLAIS –  OPERA MUNDI –  JOAACI –  CORNISH SETT –  BACKBEAT

EXPOSED ENGLISH HORSES COMING FROM 22 FURLONGS OR SHORTER

What you find in these Long Distance Handicap Chases is that it’s very tough for a horse to take a radical step up in distance. It is not so hard for lighter raced horses but the exposed horses that try it have really struggled. Horses that have got to take the radical step up in trip between 2m 6f or less and 4m 4f or more have real Problems. That’s a 14 furlong hike in trip. Its almost 2 Miles and exposed horses do not seem to cope with it. There has been 38 that tried to do this in the Grand National and all 38 horses lost and in the last few years this has included 2 beaten favourites. It is not just the Grand National. I looked at all 46 similar races I have mentioned before. None of the 46winners managed such a radical step up in trip when so exposed and I have to oppose these types.  I also want to oppose horses that were exposed that ran over 3m 7f and further. You want a horse that finds some improved form and there is less chance of that when exposed and already running at similar extreme trips. These types don’t seem to have the speed or pace to cope with the better class horses that are running at slightly shorter trips. Exposed horses that come from races of 3m 7f or longer haven’t won the National in its recent history. What you also find is that in the 46 similar races like this in the first half of the year well over 100 horses tried to win a race under these circumstances and only one managed it and he was a high class horse in devastating form at the time. I am more than happy to rule out exposed horses that either a) Step up from 22f or less or b) Ran at 3m 7f or more last time.
These are rejected – FUNDAMENTALIST – VODKA BLEU – NADOVER – NAUNTON BROOK –

EXPOSED ENGLISH HORSES WITHOUT GRADE 1 FORM

It isn’t that hard to run in Grade 1 races. You have chances in Bumpers – over hurdles – through the Novice Chase ranks and when progressing into Graded Chases. I think you are far better off with a horse that has ran in Grade 1 chases but when a horse is exposed and has not yet done that I would be quite worried.  Don’t forget these horses are generally past their prime and have had over 20 career starts. If they have not progressed by that time into a Grade 1 race then I suspect they will lack the class to win a Grand National. We are not asking these exposed horses to have won a Grade 1 race – merely to have run in one.  Exposed horses that have never ran in Grade 1 class before have a 0-93 record in this race. That’s 0-93 record is a hint that these runners will lack the class and I oppose them

MADISON DU BERLAIS – SIMON – MCKELVEY – D’ARGENT
MON MONE – CORNISH SETT – NAUNTON BROOK – NADOVER –

REMAINING ENGLISH HORSES

Surely the rags IDLE TALK – KNOWWHERE and ARDAGHEY if running will lose for lack of class. These horses are in the 100/1 and over category and it would be a rare sight to see any win. I also want to oppose BUTLERS CABIN and MR POINTMENT. I am uncomfortable about the fact both have 3 runs this season when we know 4-6 runs scores significantly better.  BUTLERS CABIN is an 8 year old and there has been only 1 winning 8 year old that won a long distance Handicap Chase at this time of year with under 4 runs that season. That sole winner (Kendal Cavalier) back in 1998 at Cheltenham was coming through the Novice ranks. None like BUTLERS CABIN have been through the handicapping ranks when so underraced that season.  MR POINTMENT is a 9 year old and has a lot of weight with 11st 11lbs for a horse with only 6 chase runs and that’s his biggest flaw. He has also only had 3 runs that season. If you look at horses aged 8 or 9 since 1998 in all similar handicap chases none of the ones that had as few as 3 runs that season managed to win without coming 1st 2nd or 3rd on their latest start. All 74 lost. No horse aged 8 or 9 came into a long distance handicap chase and won it when lightly raced on the back of poor runs and both BUTLERS CABIN and MR POINTMENT have that against them. None also carried a high weight and it’s quite a very big weight he carries with 11st 11lbs. He really looks to have been harshly treated and any forgiveness I had in his handicap mark ended when seeing how badly he ran last time and how few runs he has had this season. Both MR POINTMENT and BUTLERS CABIN also come from handicaps with less than 8 runners in them and all 96 horses  that did that Lost.

BEWLEYS BERRY

This horse was leading in last year’s race when falling at Beechers on the second circuit. What I don’t like about him this year is that he had 7lbs less weight last year and a far better preparation. He has only run twice this year and that is a serious worry. MIINEHOMA won with just two runs but it should not be forgotten than he came from the Cheltenham Gold Cup and not through the handicapping system. I looked at every long distance handicap chase run in the first 6 months of the year and very few winners won with under 3 runs that season. None of these had a 7 week break that he also has to overcome. None of these ran as badly as he has on his latest start. BEWLEYS BERRY is technically an English horse that hasn’t ran in 7 weeks and very few English National winners defied that sort of absence and none with so few warm up races. I just do not see a case for a horse with only 2 runs this year and he is rejected

ENGLISH S H O R T L I S T

CLOUDY LANE – COMPLY OR DIE

At this stage I feel the only ENGLISH Horses that have the profiles to win this race are the market leaders CLOUDY LANE and COMPLY OR DIE and I will discuss this pair shortly. I want to turn my attention to the IRISH and FRENCH horses in the attempt to produce a shortlist that we can work from to produce the winner.  I certainly don’t see the French Bred horses KELAMI or L’AMI staying well enough to win. The well known “French Breds have not won this race since 1909” is a fairly good statistic but of course it should be remembered that CLAN ROYAL placed in 2 recent Nationals and he was a French Bred horse. I still don’t see this pair winning and neither have had a happy time of things in this race before.  I can’t see Irish horses BAILEY BREEZE or IN THE HIGH GRASS should he run as being good enough. I don’t want BLACK APALACHI as I don’t see him as good enough.  He wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near the race last year with his rating and he has not won since. SNOWY MORNING is very well treated in this race but you have to wonder about how badly he jumped last time.  He did not jump very well before that at Leopardstown either and he fell in the Hennessy before that. I worry about the big field for him.  I just feel they will be so cautious to get him into a Rhythm and jumping well that he may be over protected in the race and have lots of ground to make up and in that position one mistake could be fatal. He doesn’t look a good enough jumper yet to win.  DUN DOIRE is not a Grand National horse in my view and certainly not on this ground. He couldn’t cope with the race last year and he had more suitable ground last year and a better preparation. I don’t feel POINT BARROW is good enough at least not on the ground. He fell at the first last year but I can forgive him that but he was beaten off level weights by a 102 rated horse last time. I know that’s slightly misleading as the horse that beat him is now rated a lot higher and he probably was not there to win last time out but every time I look at him despite the fact that he passes almost all well known trends in the race I just don’t see him being good enough. KING JOHNS CASTLE does not look a proven stayer to me and when you consider he has yet to win at 3 miles or more as every past winner had the percentage call has to be to oppose him.

CHELSEA HARBOUR has two problems for me. One is that all his form is on soft and heavy ground and it looks like being a lot quicker than that.  The other thing I don’t like about him is that he is an exposed horse that steps up almost 2 miles in trip and that is not an easy thing to do. No English horses have done that but a couple of Irish horses have. BOBBY JO won the National stepping up in trip as an exposed horse but he was older and prepped over hurdles not fences and he had 16lbs less weight than CHELSEA HARBOUR and had won a Irish National. CHELSEA HARBOUR was a long way back when he ran in the Irish National and no Irish winner was an 8 year old in recent years and no 8 year old has won with his weight.  Back in 2003 MONTYS PASS also prepped at shorter and was also exposed but again he was older and had far less weight and he also prepped over hurdles. He also had Aintree form.  I just think a combination of several factors will leave him short.

CLOUDY LANE is rated 161 over fences but is allowed to run here from 141 and that makes him 20lbs well in and he has to be favourite. He is not without some cause for concern. The first has to be his price. He is Top price 6/1 and that’s asking a Lot of a horse with stamina doubts. I do not know what chance he has of staying 4m 4f. I think it’s a very tough one to call and better judges of such things than I remain undecided.  I don’t like the fact that he is not the biggest of horses. May not stop him but given the choice I would rather have a horse with more size about him. Whatever statistical bombs you throw at him you have to bear in mind the 20lbs in hand he has at the weights. CLOUDY LANE does fail some statistics but all horses will fail some statistics if you keep throwing stats at a horse. As an example there are a couple of trends doing the rounds that can be argued against. Some say the best record clearly comes from horses that won no more than 1 of their previous 6 races and having three consecutive wins as CLOUDY LANE offers hasn’t been the norm for National winners. That said LORD GYLLENE came here with a W W W 2 profile and that is not dissimilar and like CLOUDY LANE he ran in Novice races in his previous season which is another thing you really want to avoid. LORD GYLLENE’s win does allow you to look at CLOUDY LANE with more forgiving eyes but unlike LORD GYLLENE you can argue that CLOUDY LANE has no Grade 1 or 2 form – he also comes from a small field handicap (all 96 that did that lost) and perhaps more importantly he has flopped on both times he has ran in marathon trip handicap chases before. Throw in the fact all 42 English horses that won a handicap chase last time out lost in the last few years you can start to see some potential cracks in his armour. These Cracks and his low price and stamina doubts leave him wanting to respect him but not select him

SLIM PICKINGS was 3rd in last year’s race. Some say he is not a proven stayer but I watched the Video and saw him running on again at the death and I am in no doubt he stays. I think you can look at this horse from both a Positive and Negative Perspective. Starting with the Negative Perspective first. He has 9lbs more weight than he had last year which won’t be easy even if weight matters less this year which certainly looks to be the case.  I Also don’t like the fact that as he slipped up over hurdles in January he has only completed one full race since December 8th. That’s just 1 completed run in 119 days and that’s a big worry for a horse that is exposed.  I also worry about the fact he is exposed now and has to come from a 21f race (similar profile to Chelsea Harbour) and that’s something no English horse has done. However on the positive side he nearly won last year. Led until very late. That was a strong performance considering his trainer only had him for 2 runs before Aintree as he upgraded stables so he wasn’t able to be given the National Preparation that his current trainer may have given him. You can also argue that his 5th in the Racing Post Plate at Cheltenham was not the best preparation either. Overall I can see where the improvement can be made to help him win this year but the negatives against him Sap my confidence. He is exposed and is being asked to do something quite hard and that’s when he has had very little racing this year. That stops him being my selection.

COMPLY OR DIE has a sensible weight and is 11lbs well in. His win in the Eider Chase pushed his handicap mark up to 150 but he is allowed to race here from 139. Carrying Topweight in the Eider Chase and winning easily was an excellent run and if that has not left its mark then he has a serious chance. The Eider chase runners are 0-11 coming into this race but that can be ignored and Superior Finish was 3rd in this race (1996) coming from the same race and COMPLY OR DIE performed far better than he did in that race. I love the fact he isn’t over exposed and was a Grade 1 horse as a Novice. He has proved his stamina and if he doesn’t go backwards after Newcastle he has a serious chance. That said there are some question marks that do worry me. The fact he comes from a 4m + race doesn’t sit too comfortably.  There has been the possibility of a sea change since 2001 against horses that ran over 4m or more last time out. Between JANUARY and JUNE in the last 7 years there has been 29 handicaps between 3m7f and 4m 4f in Class 2 and higher.
Horses that came from 4 mile + races had a 0-84 record. There were winner’s pre 2001 but 0-84 since then is a concern considering 7 were beaten favourites. Yes COMPLY OR DIE was impressive last time but is it really a good preparation to carry 11st 12lbs and Topweight at Newcastle over 4m 1f on soft ground. Since 2001 no horse has overcome that and won a similar race. No horse has done that in this race either.  You also have the niggling doubt that all 42 English handicap chasers that came into the race on the back of a win lost. There is another trend that both COMPLY OR DIE and CLOUDY LANE both fail that troubles me as well. There are some Pretty Interesting Angles that illustrate just what kind of Grand National winner has come from England in the Past when running in Handicap Chases. If you take English horses in the Grand National that came from a handicap chase last time out – you find that when they were 1st 2nd 3rd 4th last time out as both COMPLY OR DIE and CLOUDY LANE were they had a very unimpressive 1-124 record. It was only done by Lord Gyllene in 1997. If you are English in this race and come from a Handicap you are clearly best if you are unplaced last time out. Incidentally SIMON – BUTLERS CABIN and D’ARGENT also have this stat against them. You can argue Lord Gyllene proves it can be done but those that have tried to win this race on the back of a 1-2-3-4 run in a handicap chase do have awful records. That worries me for COMPLY OR DIE and CLOUDY LANE much as both horses have significant ticks in several boxes.

Grand National Selection

HEDGEHUNTER

This horse has Topweight and many will have read the statistic that says only the immortal Red Rum has successfully carried more than 11st 5lbs since the 1950’s. That’s true but it doesn’t worry me too much this year. The Bottom weight this year has 10st 7lbs and there are not horses on 10st as their usually are that are getting lumps of weight. This year just 19lbs separates the whole field. The weights this year are generally believed to favour high weights and that’s in HEDGEHUNTER’s favour. Don’t forget that in the last 10 years we have had 4 horses that came second with 11st 10lbs or more. In 2006 HEDGEHUNTER was second himself with 11st 12lbs. HEDGEHUNTER is one of the best Grand National Horses seen in recent years.  This horse now has his 5th experience of this race. He was not out of this back in 2004 as an 8 year old when he fell at the last when in 3rd place. He then came back to win the race in 2005 carrying a weight many said he could not carry that year.  As Champion he came to defend his crown the following year. He was runner up in 2006 and that was a brilliant run as he had 11st 12lbs and had just had a hard race 3 weeks earlier in the Cheltenham Gold Cup when second.  HEDGEHUNTER then had his first poor run in the race in 2007 when coming 9th. I forgive him that as it’s so clear he had a awful preparation. He was dogged by an injury problem that restricted him to 2 hurdle runs in a year. He was not at all prepared for the 2007 race. HEDGEHUNTER is back this year as a 12 year old. Age and Weight are a problem but don’t forget there has been very few horses in history with an Aintree pedigree as good as this horse.  This year he has had a far better preparation and ran an excellent warm up race last time at Fairyhouse.  I do not think this horse can be counted out. Would you rather bet the favourite CLOUDY LANE at the same price that HEDGEHUNTER is to be placed? Don’t forget with 4 places you can get beaten a long way in this race and still win. The age/weight may tell later on in the race but can you name a horse that’s more likely to get round and that knows every inch of the track.  You have a favourite that may not stay. Many horses underraced this year and with questionable preparations. Over half the field will be 100/1 chances anyway. The list of horses you can line up that look like they can beat HEDGEHUNTER is not all that long in my opinion. Around 28/1 and over on the exchanges and 11/2 for a place I think he is the bet here.

Consider the Market as well that concentrates Only on
IRISH TRAINED RUNNERS

7/2 SLIM PICKINGS – 5/1 CHELSEA HARBOUR – 7/1 HEDGEHUNTER – 7/1 KING JOHNS CASTLE – 7/1 SNOWY MORNING – 7/1 POINT BARROW – 10/1 DUN DOIRE – 22/1 BLACK APPALACHI – 28/1 BAILEY BREEZE – HI CLOY – NO FULL – TUMBLING DICE

Hedgehunter is 7/1 with W.Hill – Stan James – Bet Direct
Hedgehunter is 13/2 with Paddy Power
Hedgehunter is 6/1 with BoyleSports – Blue Sq

This is a race where ONLY the Irish horses count. If you finish 6th behind 5 English horses you win. English horses are eliminated for betting purposes and it’s all about the Irish. HEDGEHUNTER is a better price to win this race than the favourite of the Grand National is to win the overall race. Why can HEDGEHUNTER not win this at 7/1. He seems a big price to me. Don’t forget that you have 4 horses here in BAILEY BREEZE – HI CLOY – NO FULL – TUMBLING DICE that are 150/1 and over on Betfair and BLACK APPALACHI is also around the 80/1 price range and these horses are simply not strongly fancied.  The ground is against DUN DOIRE and I don’t see him having the class. POINT BARROW has achieved far less in this race and I think his chance has gone. He looks to be on the decline to me and he has never smelt fancied for this race. SNOWY MORNING has jumping problems that could easily stop him and Ruby Walsh could have ridden him but has chosen HEDGEHUNTER. Surely there is a serious worry that KING JOHNS CASTLE won’t stay.  SLIM PICKINGS and CHELSEA HARBOUR are our big dangers but I explained earlier that SLIM PICKINGS has not had the best of Preparations and CHELSEA HARBOUR has never tested the Aintree fences. You have 3 places available for each way bets. HEDGEHUNTER could finish a long way behind and still you may keep your stake money. HEDGEHUNTER at 7/1 in this exclusive field with many doubtful profiles looks the best bet I can see in this year’s Grand National.

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