Written in 2007 but still an interesting read by Matt Bisogno. I have edited this article to make it relevant to the day.
Well, I dearly hope some of you estimable readers took my advice on the Grand National and backed Silver Birch (amongst others). [Back in the day]
I say it every year, and people really seem to have a problem understanding it. So let me repeat it again, with apologies for shouting:
THE GRAND NATIONAL IS A STATS RACE!!!!!!!!!
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The only time in the last ten years when the stats have not found the winner was when Hedgehunter won. He was not a stats horse because he carried 11-01, with the cutoff being 11-00. On the basis of a pound and fitting all the other trends, I backed him anyway. I've actually backed the last SIX winners of the Grand National, Aintree, Liverpool and I'm terrible at picking handicap winners! [Note: Don't Push It 11-05, 2010, Neptunes Collonges, 11-06, 2012, Many Clouds 11-09, 2015]
What I'm trying to tell you is don't be fobbed off by the people who say the race is a lottery. It's not. Period.
The stats for the Grand National are (mostly) so glaringly obvious that it's easy to see why they're so effective.
I'll just major on a few of them which cuts the field down to about ten very quickly (and that's the case pretty much every year).
1. Grand National is 4 and a half miles. Find a horse who has won over 3m+, preferably 3m2f. Obvious no?
2. Grand National has 40 runners. Find a horse that has won in a field of at least 12, preferably 15. Obvious?
3. Grand National has horribly big fences. Find an experienced jumper (more than two seasons over fences), preferably who has completed (and ideally won) over the Grand National fences. Obvious huh?
4. Grand National is the most testing marathon race in the calendar. Find a horse in the handicap proper (and therefore talented enough to win), but not lugging more than 11-00 (and therefore weighted down).
How many horses match these stats? Check it out because you will have a select few.
Matt Bisogno is a lifelong horse racing and betting enthusiast, and has published a number of statistical analyses of trainer patterns for horse racing betting purposes.
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