Grand National - by Wayward Lad

What can we say about the Grand National? It has a feeling that goes beyond words for so many who love this great sporting occasion which captures the heart and mind of both professional punter and those who enjoy that once-a-year bet.

I would like to thank Ian from the popular Wayward Lad blog who allowed this publication. It's fantastic.

The Grand National; a race that has launched film stars (Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet), provided royal drama (Devon Loch owned by the Queen Mother), rewarded brilliance (trainer Vincent O’Brien won it 3 times in succession with 3 different horses) and bravery (Red Rum, 3 time winner). It is the race that stops the nation, and any horse can win it – or can they?


In recent years, trend-spotters have descended on the race with winner finding methods in an effort to name the winner and gain kudos amongst the racing fraternity. Yet, despite a huge array of statistical data, finding the winner this year is probably more difficult than ever given the quality of horses competing for the half-million-pound 1st prize.

For me, the National is all about experience in both horse and rider. No horse with less than 9 chase runs has won the race in the past 20 years at least (according to available records) and it’s likely that trend goes back to 1945. This trend takes out the current fav The Midnight Club (8 chase runs), plus other well fancied runners like Becauseicouldntsee (7 runs), Majestic Concorde (7 runs), and Quinz (7 runs).

Even though a horse may have run in enough chase races, it needs to have the ability to have won at least 3 of them – none of the last 10 National winners had won less than 3 chase races prior to winning the National. That scuppers quite a few horses as well, such as The Tother One (1 win), Royal Rosa (1 win), Big Fella Thanks (2 wins), Calgary Bay (2 wins), Niche Market (2 wins), Oscar Time (2 wins), plus The Midnight Club (2 wins) and Becauseicouldntsee (1 win) again.

These are “winner-finding” trends, but you can get plenty of enjoyment – and a positive return on your wager – if you can find a long-odds placed runner. Already, bookmakers are advertising that they are paying 5 places on the National result (not every bookmaker, so check before you place a bet). Maybe one or more will offer 6 places on Saturday morning?

Think about this – in the last 3 Nationals, only one horse that finished in the 1st-4 has carried less than 10st 11b (that was Comply Or Die who carried 10st 9lb when he won in 2008). Another recurring theme is that the best jockeys are able to guide their mounts past the fallen horses and coax them enough to complete the 4-mile 856 yard trip (the longest race in the UK) and reach the places and the prize-money. AP McCoy (1 win & 3 places), Timmy Murphy (1 win & 2 places), Ruby Walsh (2 wins & 4 places), Barry Geraghty (1 win & 4 places), and Paul Carberry (a win and a place) are the jockeys who know their way around Aintree.

So, what is the advice here? If you’ve read this far then you are going to have a bet. If you are having a bet, then it must be with money that you can afford to lose – there are no guarantees when it comes to gambling on horseracing. When you place your bets, always take the odds on offer at the time and, if you place the bet before Saturday, place it with a bookmaker who is offering “non-runner, no bet” – that way, if the horse does not run then you can recover your stake money. I would focus on the best jockeys, those named above (at time of writing, Barry Geraghty does not have a ride in the race) and their mounts:-


DON’T PUSH IT ridden by AP McCoy

THE MIDNIGHT CLUB ridden by Ruby Walsh

BACKSTAGE ridden by Paul Carberry

COMPLY OR DIE ridden by Timmy Murphy


I would also consider those carrying more than 10st 10lb that are at very long odds, such a:-


TIDAL BAY with 11st 9lb at 40/1

VIC VENTURI with 11st 6lb at 50/1

MAJESTIC CONCORDE with 11st 5lb at 33/1

THE TOTHER ONE with 11st 0lb at 66/1

CHIEF DAN GEORGE with 10st 12lb at 40/1

KILLYGLEN with 10st 10lb at 66/1 (who is ridden by R M Power, who won the National on Silver Birch in 2007)

With the sun burning-down on the track on all 3-days of the meeting, the going will be quicker than expected and we could see some front-runners getting away from the field and not being caught, and so supporters of Vic Venturi and Majestic Concorde will see plenty of their horses.

However, I was impressed with the performance of THE TOTHER ONE in the Hennessey last November as at the 2nd-last fence he was perhaps 15-lengths adrift of Denman but stayed-on very well to catch him on the line, beaten just ½ a length into 4th. He does take chances at some fences, but he has a good cruising speed and should not be far off the pace at any time. At 66/1, he's worth an eachway wager. Good luck.

Wayward Lad

I would like to thank Ian for his kind submission and to the time he has taken in expressing his insight to this magical horse race. For an in-depth review of the Grand National, take a look at Wayward Lad

5 comments:

Mark said...

Hi Jason

What a great article full of insights and practical advice

Ian presented an excellent case for backing THE TOTHER ONE eachway at 66/1 (Bet365 and others) so I for one am taking his advice.

Thank you both.

Regards
Mark

Mark said...

THE TOTHER ONE is 66/1 with Victor Chandler and they are paying out eachway for the first SIX places :-)

HCE said...

Hi Mark,

Yes, I am very pleased with the article and thank Ian so much for his work. I am going to have a bet his at huge odds. Looking forward to it.

Jason

Wayward Lad said...

I hope your visitors followed the link to my blog - where I gave 3 for the National including a ½pt win wager on BALLABRIGGS (plus ½pt eachway wagers on The Tother One and West End Rocker).
Wayward Lad

HCE said...

Thanks for your post, Ian, it was brilliant. I am sure many readers made the most of your selections.

Many thanks,
Jason