Grand National: Picking the winner

With 40 guaranteed runners, the Grand National is the hardest race of the year to pick the winner. A gruelling stamina test with 4 miles and 2 furlongs to race, with 30 fences to jump and congested turns round two laps of Aintree’s chase track. Red Rum was the only horse in the past 60 years to have won multiple runnings of the race, which goes to show how hard it is to win the race. Every trainer, jockey and owner dreams of running or riding in the Grand National, let alone winning it.


So how exactly do you pick the winner of the Grand National?

Every aspect of racing can have an influence on the winner. Ground conditions, trainer, jockey, horse form all have a part to play for the runners, but even more valuable is luck. When 40 fully-grown thoroughbreds jump over the same fence, at the same time, bumping and knocking each other in the process, things are bound to go wrong. The claustrophobic nature of the race unfortunately sees a number of horses fall and so does your chances of winning. However, with that being said there is plenty of factors you can account for when attempting to pick the winner.

It’s a marathon not a sprint, stamina is key. Picking a horse who’s form includes longer trips is essential. A 2 mile specialist has a far inferior chance of winning than a 4 mile specialist as their stamina is unlikely to hold out. Weight can also dictate a horses chances, the more weight a horse carries the harder it will be. In fact, 7 of the last 10 Grand National winners carried 11 stone or less to victory. Opt for youth over experience. 7 of the last 10 Grand National winners were aged 10 or younger, which suggests younger horses have a far better chance of winning. Never judge a horses chance based on it’s price. 6 of the last 10 Grand National winners were priced 25/1 or bigger.


Improve your chances

Many punters place multiple Grand National bets in the hope of picking the winner, but that’s cheating right? Wrong. Why not split your stake up into multiple smaller bets? After all, you have a bigger chance of winning and the prices of Grand National runners are big enough to make it worthwhile.  Another way of increasing your chances is to bet Each-Way. You are far more likely to pick a horse that finishes in the top 4 than picking the winner. Horses in the Grand National are often big prices and pay handsomely with a place on an each-way bet. Some bookmaker promotions offer up to 6 places, taking full advantage of this can make the task of finding a winner that bit easier.


The past 10 Grand National winners:


2018 – Tiger Roll (7yo, 10st 13lb, 10/1)
2017 – One For Arthur (8yo, 10st 11lb, 14/1)
2016 – Rule The World (9yo, 10st 7lb, 33/1)
2015 – Many Clouds (8yo, 11st 9lb, 25/1)
2014 – Pineau De Re (11yo, 10st 6lb, 25/1)
2013 – Auroras Encore (11yo, 10st 3lb, 66/1)
2012 – Neptune Collonges (11yo, 11st 6lb, 33/1)
2011 – Ballabriggs (10yo, 11st, 14/1)
2010 – Don’t Push It (10yo, 11st 5lb, 10/1)
2009 – Mon Mome (9yo, 11st, 100/1)
2008 – Comply or Die (9yo, 10st 9lb, 7/1)