2015 Grand National at Aintree

2015 Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree

2015 Crabbie's Grand National Preview, Trends, Tips

Aintree's April showpiece and, for many people, the race of the year is the Crabbie's Grand National. It's a marathon event run over four and a half miles and thirty fences, contested by forty horses. So, yes, finding the winner could be tricky.

In spite of the extreme circumstances - or perhaps because of them - the Grand National is a race where a certain type of horse tends to do very well. In this post, we'll look at the key trends and form, in an attempt to find a diamond in the rough.

Grand National Trends

A lot is made of the Grand National trends, and rightly so. But it is important not to take every presented data snippet at face value. Let's begin with an example.

Weight: Considering the last 18 Nationals, the contention that you need to carry less than eleven stone to win an Aintree National is bunkum. Whilst it is true that thirteen of those eighteen winners carried less than eleven stone to victory, that bakers' dozen represented just over 75% of the total runners. Thus, their haul of 72% of the winners was no better than expected. In fact, it was very slightly worse than might have been expected.

Consequently, horses carrying eleven stone or more have won five Nationals since 1997 (28%) from 25% of the runners.

In other words, there's little in it as far as weight is concerned.

That said, it should be noted that none of the 57 horses (8% of the runners) carrying 11-07 or more has won. Then again, 8% of them have placed, exactly the amount that would have been expected.

Confused? Here's my management summary: don't get too hung up on weight, except to keep in mind that those at the very top of the tree - Lord Windermere, Many Clouds and Unioniste - would probably need everything else to be absolutely spot on to prevail.

2015 Grand National Weight Trends

2015 Grand National Weight Trends

 

Age: If the influence of weight is somewhere between confusing and over-stated, then age is a more straightforward Grand National consideration. Horses aged nine to eleven have far out-performed their numerical representation.

Indeed, they've won sixteen of the eighteen (89%) Nationals since 1997 from just 68% of the runners. Horses aged a year either side of the 9-11 bracket have claimed a win apiece during that time, with younger and older horses 0 from 66. Even more alarmingly if you fancy a relatively young or old horse is that this 9.4% subset of the runners failed to record a top four finish in any of the near two decades of data under the microscope.

Grand National 2015 Age Trends

Crabbie's Grand National 2015 Age Trends

 

Last time out: A bit of a quirky one due to the fact that National contenders come to the race from all sorts of grades, distances and disciplines of race last time. Some raced over much shorter, some in notably higher or lower class, and some ran over hurdles or banks the last day.

Nevertheless, there are some loose conclusions to be drawn from where a horse finished on their most recent start. For starters, it may come as little surprise that those with the best finishing positions last time won most of the sampled Grand Nationals.

Specifically, top five finishers last time out took 14 of the 18 Nationals (78%), from just less than half of the runners. That's material. At the other end of the spectrum, horses finishing outside of the top eight last time failed to score with any of their 15% of runners. And those who didn't finish last time out - that is, they were pulled up, or fell, or unseated their riders, etc - claimed two wins (11%) from 139 runners (20%).

Grand National Last Time Out Trends

Grand National Last Time Out Trends

 

Days Since A Run: Considering the number of days since a horse last ran looks to be important for the Grand National. A combination of match fitness and freshness is required, as clearly evidenced in the data.

All of the last eighteen winners last ran between 16 and 56 days before the big race. Let's call it between two weeks and two months for cash. Granted, that was from 78% of the runners, but even the placed horses out-performed their numerical representation (83% placed vs 78% runners).

A fresh and fit horse is a must.

Grand National 2015: Days Since A Run Trends

Grand National 2015: Days Since A Run Trends

 

Furthest winning race distance: It makes sense that a horse needs stamina to win a Grand National. After all, there isn't a longer race in the British calendar, even now it's been reduced by 110 yards. Unsurprisingly, history bears that out; but perhaps in an interesting way.

The unsurprising thing is that horses who had previously failed to win over at least three miles were 0 from 180. That group includes 66 horses who had failed to win - in the UK / Ireland at least - in that time. That's just over a quarter of the runners since 1997. And no winners.

The group was able to claim nine placed efforts but a quarter of runners has an expected place footprint of 18 placed horses, showing a significant under-performance.

At longer distances, it gets more interesting, potentially at least. Those with a win over an extreme distance - 3m6f or further - have won 11% (two) of the Nationals since 1997... from 11% of the runners.

But those with a longest win of between three miles and less than 3m6f have claimed the other sixteen renewals of the Crabbie's Grand National in the period under study. It's a large group - roughly 63% of all National runners sit in here - but they've collectively been responsible for 16 of the 18 winners since 1997.

The message is in two parts, one more simple than the other:

1. Do not be tempted to back a horse that has failed to win over at least three miles

2. Look for a horse with proven stamina at between three and four miles, and with potential to improve over a longer trip.

Maximum Race Distance Win of Grand National Winners 1997-2014

Maximum Race Distance Win of Grand National Winners 1997-2014

 

Maximum Distance RUN: As well as looking at the maximum winning distance, it might be useful to consider the maximum distance previously run (over fences) by Grand National contenders.

It follows that those horses yet to have raced at anything like the marathon National distance have fared poorly. Thus, no wins from 89 runners who'd previously not run over a distance of three miles and a furlong or further makes sense.

The subset of Grand National aspirants to have raced at a limit of between 3m1f and three and a half miles ran to par: they numbered 23% of the runners and netted 22% of the winners.

And those with 'previous' over long distances have fared best. Horses lining up with at least one prior chasing attempt at beyond three and a half miles have won 14 of the last 18 Nationals (78%) from just 64% of the runners.

Max Distance Run: Grand National Entries 1997-2014

Max Distance Run: Grand National Entries 1997-2014

 

Headgear: This is an area where a lot of nonsense is spouted. Critics point to the fact that only two winners in recent times have worn blinkers. Whilst that is certainly true, what is also true is that the win strike rate for horses wearing blinkers is only very marginally worse than horses without any kind of headgear.

Specifically, blinker-wearing horses have won at a rate of 2.53%, while no headgear horses have won at a rate of 2.87%. Moreover, as well as the two winners, blinkered horses have finished second three times during the study period.

So I'd suggest it is lazy trends profilers that are handicapped by their blinkers, not the horses!

Performance of horses in headgear in Grand National 1997-2014

Horses in headgear in Grand National 1997-2014

 

Race Class Last Time Out: This was more interesting than I expected, ostensibly at least, because it *seems* to be quite a logical filter. Although the eighteen National winners since 1997 were fairly well spread between races of Grade 3, Listed, and Class 2 or below last time out, what was most notable was the performance of Grade 1 and Grade 2 last time out runners.

They are a significant group - 144 horses, 20% of all runners - and they've failed to win a single Grand National between them. I thought the most logical reasons for this were twofold:

1. They're likely to be the classier animals and, therefore, have to carry the most weight.

2. It's probable that in most cases their main target was the Grade 1 or 2 race in which they last appeared.

Testing these theories, I discovered that of the 144 horses in this group, only 80 carried eleven stone or more: that's less than I expected; and 88 ran at either Fairyhouse or Cheltenham, the two big meetings that precede Aintree last time, but only 59 ran at those tracks within a month of Aintree's showpiece.

That leaves both theories on tenuous ground, and the fact that the group claimed 19% of the available place positions (remember, that's from 20% of the runners) means they're only marginally under-performing in that context. In other words, I suspect it's simply a matter of time before a runner emerging from a Grade 1 or 2 race wins the National again, and this looks a most misleading of factoids.

Race Grade Last Time Out of Grand National Runners

Race Grade Last Time Out of Aintree National Runners 1997-2014

Chase wins: In a race like the Grand National, we need a horse with a combination of stamina, experience and, of course, ability. One measure of ability - and experience - is the number of wins in steeplechases a horse has achieved. We can clearly see from the table below that less than three wins suggests a horse is either not experienced enough, or not talented enough to win a National.

At the other end of the spectrum, although the number of National wins reduces, so too do the number of horses in that group. Looking at the place data, it seems the more experienced / winning horses have performed to par without necessarily surpassing expectation.

Those with between three and seven prior chase wins have claimed 16 of the last 18 Grand Nationals (89%) from just less than two-thirds of the runners (65%).

Number of chase wins of Grand National winners 1997-2014

Number of chase wins of GN winners 1997-2014

Allied to the above, which are researched using HorseRaceBase.com and a soupçon of common sense from this scribe, Nick Pullen makes a couple of very interesting points in his Racing Ahead magazine article this month. It would be difficult in the extreme to work out how many previous National runners qualified on the following, but we'll assume they're material for now...

First, he observes that all of the last twelve winners had achieved their best Racing Post Rating (RPR) at a distance of three miles or further. That makes a lot of sense, though I'd expect most serious candidates to qualify.

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And ten of the last dozen Grand National winners had won a chase worth at least £30k to the winner.

Since the revision of the weight rules to allow for discretionary handicapping (i.e. the official handicapper sets a separate 'one off' handicap for the Grand National), six of the last seven winners had Graded chase experience that season. This looks a material element again, although more than half of the field will qualify.

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2015 Crabbie's Grand National Form Preview

Those are some at least reasonably responsible trends, but how does this year's field map against that profile? And, if we can isolate a shortlist, which runners have the best form prospects?

As you can see from the spreadsheet at the bottom of this post (downloadable for those who want to mess around with the data), just two horses tick all boxes: Rocky Creek and First Lieutenant.

Rocky Creek would probably be favourite in any other year, but such is the weight of money - largely aligned to sentiment - for the retiring AP McCoy's last Grand National ride that Rocky will probably be around 8/1 on the day. Right now, he's a top priced 10/1.

As well as his trends tickfest, Rocky Creek has robust form claims. He was fifth in the race last year, having perhaps been just a beat shy of full fitness after a ten week break. This time, he enters the Aintree fray off a seven week break, and is fresh and well having won convincingly in the Betbright Chase. That was over three miles on soft ground, but his track form here shows there are few reservations about his ability to handle the faster ground/longer trip.

Rocky Creek has yet to fall in a fourteen race career, a fact that remains pertinent despite the easing of the famous birch fences. Although he's not a sexy price, he looks a very strong contender for the champion trainer, who has taken this race much more seriously in recent years (just one placed horse from 36 runners between 1997 and 2008; but a winner and two further places from 19 runners since then).

At a much bigger price - 33/1 at time of writing - First Lieutenant is just the kind of talented screwball that could run a mighty race. He's got an awful lot of Grade 1 placed form, and in amongst those 17 Graded places are four wins, two over fences, and one here at Aintree. That was in the 2013 Aintree Bowl, Grade 1, a race in which he ran a fine fourth last year, beaten less than four lengths.

It is important to note that the Aintree Bowl is run over a mile and a quarter shy of the Grand National distance, so 'First Left' has to show he can last out the additional range. There is hope that he can do just that: the longest distance he's covered is the nigh on three miles three furlongs of Newbury's Hennessy Gold Cup. Like Aintree, Newbury is a left-handed flat galloping track, and he was a staying on third on that occasion off a rating of 159.

On Saturday, his rating will be 154 which equates to a weight of 11-03, and his trainer is in fair form (three of his five runners in the past fortnight placed). As stories go, it would be one to almost upstage Tony McCoy if lady rider, Nina Carberry, could become the first woman to win the Crabbie's Grand National. Make no mistake, she's a top jockey and already has an Irish National to her name.

First Lieutenant looks a belting each way bet.

Before considering any more of the top trends types, let's hone in on the top of the market, beginning naturally enough with the likely favourite, Shutthefrontdoor. There are a few negatives, on the face of it at least, with this lad. First, he hasn't raced since early November, a layoff of 152 days. However, his trainer is adept at bringing a horse to the track match fit after a break. Moreover, the horse himself has won three of his five starts after a break of 60 days or more.

Second, he's only eight, which is younger than every winner since Bindaree in 2002. A decade before, Party Politics also won as an eight year old, so it can be done (of course). Concerns about requisite experience are dissipated to a degree by the fact that Shutthefrontdoor has won the Irish National - last year - and that he is an improving horse whose freshness has been at least in part down to preserving his attractive handicap mark of 153.

My main niggle with Shutthefrontdoor is his jumping. Whilst he does get from one side to the other, he's a bit clumsy with it. That said, he's never failed to complete and that includes when bungling and horlicksing his way around the four punishing miles of Cheltenham Festival's National Hunt Chase last season, en route to Irish National glory.

Tony McCoy won the Grand National in 2010 and has publicly stated that if he won it this time he'd retire on the spot. He has a chance, despite the risks. But he won't be any sort of value on the day. A small sentimental win bet at 7/1 now is the best I could suggest about a lad who would bring the house down if he could win.

Third choice in the betting is last year's runner up, Balthazar King. He's won no fewer than thirteen of his 26 chase starts, and loves fast ground. So far so good. But he too has been long absent - indeed, he last graced the track four days after McCoy's mount, in mid-November last year. But, if anything, his record fresh is even better than Shutthefrontdoor. From his seven chase starts after a 60+ day break, BK has won six!

He's three pounds higher than last year, when he was outrun by five lengths at the finish, and carries three pounds more weight this time. A safe jumper and with conditions in his favour Balthazar King ought to go well again but without necessarily having any improvement to turn 2014 Aintree silver into 2015 gold.

Cheltenham Festival winner, The Druids Nephew, is a rising star in the chasing ranks. Like Balthazar King, The Druids Nephew is also a son of tip top National Hunt stallion, King's Theatre; and, like Balthazar King, he looks to have a preference for a trip and top of the ground. As such, he seems well suited to the setup. But this might come a year too soon for a horse still only eight years of age. As well as that, it is hard to escape the notion that his day was Cheltenham, and he might just be over the top now. Still, a credible contender.

Soll is on to his fourth trainer now, with David Pipe working his magic thus far to eke out two wins from two starts. Those are his only two runs this term, so he comes here on a seasonal hat-trick, but his best form is probably on softer. He did get round in 7th place in the 2013 Grand National, though, so clearly has some aptitude for the fences. A prominent run style may not be ideal here, however, and I'd expect him to give punters a good run for their money before steadily capitulating in the last half mile or so.

Fergal O'Brien's Alvarado was fourth in the race last year, and he's been kept fresh as paint for this. Just one seasonal run - a never nearer 18 length fifth over three miles in late February - is perhaps sub-optimal, bur the trainer has been in great form recently. He made up a lot of ground after the last when fourth last year, and if his jockey Paul Moloney can get the fractions right, this fellow has a solid squeak. It's quite a big 'if' as the rider has too many knocks on his score card for mistiming his run. He's certainly not to my tastes, though his mount looks a dour stayer.

A horse I like a lot is Cause Of Causes. His National Hunt Chase win was the sort of brilliant ride this quirky lad needs to come home in front, as a record of just one chase win and five seconds or thirds betrays. Although I'm surprised and a little disappointed that crack Irish amateur Jamie Codd has been 'jocked off', he's been replaced by Paul Carberry, a rider typecast for this ride. I'm not normally a fan of his Moloney-esque 'hunting out the back' style, but Cause Of Causes absolutely needs to be ridden that way. He's probably too young to prevail this year, but I think he could well have a National in the bag before his career is over.

Godsmejudge and Spring Heeled come next in the betting, at around 25/1. The former, the 2013 Scottish National winner, has been in horrendous form this term, and is hard to recommend even though he will have been primed for this all along. The latter has been sparingly campaigned since winning the Kim Muir at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival. Trainer Jim Culloty may have a remarkable Festival record, but his domestic performance is lamentable; and his treatment of Lord Windermere's previously retained rider was nothing short of shabby, and perhaps even embarrassing.

It smacked of desperation, and I don't think either of his charges - the other being the aforementioned Lord Windermere, heading here after pulling up in the Gold Cup - have the required stamina to prevail. Nor is either especially well weighted.

Last year's winner, Pineau De Re, attempts to double up and is a 25/1 shot to achieve that impressive feat. History tells us it won't be easy, and as a twelve year old now, with eight pounds more on his back this time, he'd not be for me. You can ignore his form this season, however: he's merely been ticked over by his extremely shrewd trainer, Dr Richard Newland.

Unioniste is a French-bred seven-year-old and, in my book, that's a terminal two-pronged knock. Definitely too young, and probably without the required stamina. Next...

Last year's Scottish National winner, Al Co, surprised a lot of people when beating the defending champ, Godsmejudge, as his starting price of 40/1 demonstrates. The handicapper didn't over-react, however, and Al Co is just five pounds higher here. He's been largely campaigned over hurdles, a common rating-preserving strategy, and his trainer, Peter Bowen, has a sensational Aintree record. If that's the good news, the bad news is that Bowen's National record is not so good, with a second place from nine attempts.

Al Co looks a better profile fit for the race than most of his stable predecessors, and he's quite tempting at 33/1.

We are in the midst of the 33/1 shots now, and the next pair under the microscope are Royale Knight and Night In Milan. Royale Knight is the last horse guaranteed a run at the five day stage - number 40 - and he hails from Pineau De Re's stable. A winner of the Durham National over three and three quarter miles on his last chase start, he's had a couple of hurdle spins since, and the last nine of his chase wins and places were over at least three miles. Here is a plodder of some repute.

He'd be an amazing rags to riches story, having started his handicap chase career off a lowly mark of just 85. Now rated 54 pounds higher (!), who is to say that the progression is complete? He ought not to be good enough, but we know he stays, we know his trainer knows how to win the race, and he's a sexy price at 'double carpet' (33/1).

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Night In Milan is less compelling, for me at least. He's been running - and winning - almost exclusively around Doncaster in recent times, and almost exclusively at around three miles. These stiffer fences (even now) and the significantly longer trip should be too much for him, most likely, although he does have a three mile place on the Mildmay course here.

It's 40/1 bar those mentioned already, and two of the last six winners have fallen into the bigger priced catchment. That pair was notably difficult to find, for this blog at any rate, so I'll selectively rattle off a few of the more likely longer priced pokes, no doubt skilfully avoiding the 2015 Grand National winner!

Paul Nicholls looks like running four, and of the two not mentioned already, I think Mon Parrain is a good bit more interesting than Rebel Rebellion. Although his last time out run was poor, the balance of his form - including second over these fences at the shorter two mile six furlong distance - gives him a better chance than 50/1 implies. His three UK wins have been on the testing circuits at Sandown and Cheltenham, and he could just blossom for his first try at a marathon distance. I won't be having more than a tiny token wager, but he wouldn't be the most surprising winner in the field.

And, just in case there's to be another 100/1 shocker like Mon Mome in 2009, perhaps it could be Gas Line Boy. He's got stamina, as he showed when winning over three miles five furlongs at Haydock on rain softened ground. As well as that, he's got solid form on quicker turf, as when winning over three miles at Exeter, and a close third at the same distance at Chepstow (a similar track constitution to Aintree).

He's 100/1 because he's probably not good enough, but I think he'll stay and he should handle the ground and jump round. Each way with five places for pin money might be fun.

Stablemate, Chance Du Roy, has been second in the Topham Chase over 2m6f, and won the Becher Chase over 3m2f. Both of those races are run over the National fences, and he was also sixth in last year's Grand National itself. His National fences score card is completed with a fall in the Grand Sefton Chase, and two further unplaced efforts.

Thus, in six spins he's got round five times. That's attractive in a race where many fail to complete, even with the easing of the fences. He's been lightly raced this season and is off a feasible mark for a 50/1 shot.

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2015 Crabbies' Grand National Tips

Obviously a devilishly hard race in which to find the winner, the Grand National's saving grace from a betting perspective is that it healthily rewards those smart/lucky enough to nominate the first past the jam stick. It is also a race in which most people - me included - consider it fair game to take a few swipes rather than place all eggs in a single precarious basket.

With that in mind, I think that ROCKY CREEK has the most obvious chance in the race, and he'd be favourite in this field in any other year. He has stamina, class, jumps well and will go on any ground. All horses need luck in running to win the Grand National and he'll be no exception, but 10/1 is perfectly fair about his chance.

A number of the other fancied runners also have prospects, though perhaps not as good as their odds currently imply. So, in true Countdown fashion, I'm going to take one from the top of the market (Rocky), and three from the bottom.

The first of my big-priced trio will be FIRST LIEUTENANT. He's a classy horse, no question, and he stays pretty well. He's been looked after with this in mind all season, and is normally a safe jumper. I can see 'First Left' being hunted into this and going really well half a mile out. Whether he can finish the job is the big question, but I'll take 33/1 to get an answer.

Next of the raggier ones is the the 'raggier to richer' horse, ROYALE KNIGHT. Hugely progressive, though still under the radar, he may be able to find further improvement to get in the mix here. He'll need to, as his form is some way below the pick of the opposition, but he hails from the yard of last year's winner, Pineau De Re.

And GAS LINE BOY could be a fun bet at 100/1. He's surely better than those odds imply, with stamina in abundance, a very smart trainer, and a nice racing weight. He's probably not good enough. But he's not definitely not good enough...

Others worthy of mention - and on whom I'll likely take an interest ticket - include 50/1 Mon Parrain and Chance Du Roy at the same price.

1pt win Rocky Creek - 10/1 generally (PP 1/4 odds FIVE places)

1 pt e/w First Lieutenant - 33/1 Ladbrokes, Coral, Betbright (28/1 Skybet, FIVE places)

0.5 pt e/w Royale Knight - 33/1 Ladbrokes, Coral (28/1 bet365, FIVE places)

0.25pt e/w Gas Line Boy - 100/1 PP, Sportingbet (FIVE places)

The very best of luck to everyone. Let's hope for an amazing race, free of injury, and maybe, just maybe, the winner of the 2015 Crabbie's Grand National.

Matt

p.s. what's your fancy, and why? Leave a comment and let us know!

p.p.s. Here's the link to download the 2015 Grand National Trends spreadsheet

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p.p.p.s. If you just want to look, here is the full grid...

How the runners match up for Grand National 2015

How the runners match up for Grand National 2015

24 replies
  1. Paul Whitworth
    Paul Whitworth says:

    I have a shortlist of just two ‘big priced outsiders’: Chance Du Roy, which Matt has mentioned(quite favourably), but also Any Currency. Does anyone else think this has a chance better than the current 50/1 price suggests or am I being silly?!

  2. crabbie
    crabbie says:

    thanks mat brilliant and informative breakdown of the national Josh wright of racing2profit also has a free excellent stat guide to every race at aintree which is def worth a read.
    My tip is al co interesting stat the scottish national has produced three of the last six winners. And i agree with you mat first lieutentant he is one classy horse with katie walsh winning the Irish natioanl on Saturday is it a omen that nina carberry be the 1st female jockey to win the national lets hope so

  3. buckieboy
    buckieboy says:

    Thanks for indicating the chances of Gas Line Boy because the manner of that victory in lower grade in Nov. means that the extra distance might just add to his overall talent for this, the supreme test.
    The current 100/1 seems generous so I’ve given my money to the bookie and had a place bet on the exchange.
    I’m on the fav @ 20s since Feb and will have a cover on Rocky, which I’ve been delaying since Monday, in the morning. Plus I’ve got £2 on Ballycasey to place at 30+, so I don’t need too many mishaps!
    Best of luck,everybody.

  4. Tony Thompson
    Tony Thompson says:

    As usual a brilliant bit of writing with no stone left unturned.I do fancy godsmejudge though,his form looks like a few of the past few years winners “very ordinary”.However I will be backing a couple of your selections as I consider you as one of the best judges out there thanks Matt.

  5. patterss
    patterss says:

    Very informative and for me a real education in race profiling.

    The link to the xls is not working for me, anyone else?

    Cheers Steve

  6. Jay M
    Jay M says:

    Hi Matt,

    Firstly congrats and thanks for Thunder and Roses on Monday, great analysis and bang on result!

    Brilliant coverage of this year’s GN and excellent analysis as usual here. One thing I would like to ask you though…IF you backtested your current strategy/system for this year’s GN onto LAST YEAR’s runners, would you have come close to tipping the winner (Pineau de Re) or any of the placed horses in last year’s GN?

    This could help shed some insight into any other factors that we may be neglecting and it could also help validate your current system? Be good to know what you think

    Thanks

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Jay

      Thanks for the kind words. With regards to projecting backwards, no I haven’t done / won’t be doing that. I’ve tried to be mindful that things are a little different in the new ‘easier fence’ world without muddying the wordy waters still further. Thus, I’ve largely ignored previous requirements to be a sound jumper, and focused more on the need for stamina.

      I think at the end of the day the trends lead us in a general, rather than specific, direction. It’s important not to be handcuffed to them, such that we ignore horses with strong form claims who may fail to tick a couple of boxes.

      Best,
      Matt

  7. John Carolan
    John Carolan says:

    Matt
    Simply superb view making and breakdown of the stats in
    such a thought provoking manner

    Brilliant article

    Good luck with your selections , I’ve not made up my mind yet
    but sure will be using your stats to hone in
    Good luck
    Johnny

  8. Chris Worrall
    Chris Worrall says:

    Bet365 are refunding half of all E/W stakes placed on the race prior to noon on Saturday.

  9. Ian
    Ian says:

    Outstanding in every regard Matt and well done LORD WINDERMERE + Saint Are for me, the former has class and the latter a spring horse who always thrives at Aintree and kept fit and fresh for the day!

  10. bigvern63
    bigvern63 says:

    Great analysis Matt, always an informative and entertaining read. Put some of my own bets on early, including Royale Knight and Al Co, who I particularly like, but will be playing again with your other selections in the next 24 hrs and taking advantage of the Bet 365 refund offer that Chris has highlighted.

    Good luck and enjoy the big one when it comes round – always a very special race the National and although the favourite will not be carrying my money, I would be delighted if AP crossed the line first to cap a truly remarkable career, the like of which I am pretty certain we will not see again.

    Cheers, Chris

  11. pete.sharp
    pete.sharp says:

    Hi Jay
    Terrific article all you need for a stats analysis.
    the greater emphasis on stamina and easier fences leads me to thinking this would be a positive for Monbeg Dude-a Welsh national winner but prone to errors.I also like Royale Knight and am having a small e.w on Carlito Brigante -never fallen and seemed to stay on the longest trip he’s tackled.3m2f.
    P.S.I have seen every National since 1961 and apart from the alteration to the drops the fences for the foxhunters today seemed as high as ever with plenty of spruce topping .So a solid jumper will still be required

  12. whiston01
    whiston01 says:

    Hello Matt an excellent piece as usual.Just watched last years national and seen Rocky Creek go from going best to emptying like a drain from just after the last.Hes a year older and has 2lbs less to carry this year but i have to believe there will be stronger stayers than him. If Alvarado can lay up closer i think he has a good chance.I also like the look of Soll

  13. sondrio2
    sondrio2 says:

    i would love shutthefrontdoor to win because of the mccoy factor, but i wouldnt back it at whats sure to be a shortish price, i fancy rocky creek and soll, and of course will be using bet365 for the each way offer.
    great write up matt, brilliant to have all the leg work done for us like that, thanks and good luck to all geegeez members tomorrow, im sure some of us will be smiling whilst others will be cursing our luck, which im usually doing after the race.

  14. Colin Metcalfe
    Colin Metcalfe says:

    I’d already gone for First Lieutenant and my wife for Rocky Creek, so the fact that you’ve also gone for those two is good enough for me.

  15. phileag
    phileag says:

    Great article Matt as always..Already backed First Lieutenant at 40/1 so nice to see you have gone for that to. Also Backed Saint Are and Al Co… If First Lieutenant can get round safely He will Win…With the first female jockey on board to win a National..

  16. Chris
    Chris says:

    Good work once again sir.

    Now I have a set of stats and trends I use that have served me very very well, so I’ll stick by them and gain some reassurance from yours as they have once again pointed in the same roundabout direction.

    Am I allowed to say that no Lady Jockey has won the national this time?
    There’s been alot of talk about First Lieutenant and if it was a fella on top I’d probably squeeze him onto my betting slip as my stat busting saver! But after my Monday foot/mouth episode I feel obliged to anyway! It would be a fantastic story if Miss Carberry could do it, she was so cool on Thursday.

    Anyway, my shortlist – Alvarado, Gas Line Boy, Mon Parrain, Night In Milan, Rebel Rebellion and Monbeg Dude, who I am ejecting as I don’t think he is a spring horse at all and will not win.

    I do feel as though current stats and trends are kind of hanging by a thread now as each year more and more classier animals are taking part, but hey its still fun trying to find the winner.

    I want to sit next to that larger than life lady from the gogglebox show when the race is run. If anyone watched her watching the race last year it was pure comedy gold as her horse Across the Bay was carried out!

    Have Fun

  17. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    So taking all into account Matt there doesn’t seem to be a lot said about Baltazars king who I got fancy prices about after last years second ..also would love to see nina win for every reason but mainly for the family’s involved (lovely story ) and just IMO gonyella could buck the stats as an 8 yr old but maybe a future prospect back here
    Thanks for a cracking analysis and stat pack Matt best of luck to everyone having a bet and also the horses and jockeys going out

  18. James Parkinson
    James Parkinson says:

    Matt,
    If I am right in thinking Many Clouds has bust a few trend stats.

    Age, weight carried, jockey.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi James

      He didn’t break any of those stats – the first two are covered in the post above. The last one… well, I don’t know how it’s possible to have a jockey trend!!

      Matt

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