I did this a couple of years ago, dear reader, and I'm going to have a crack at it again... Obviously, I'm going to be 97.5% right, as there can only be one winner and there will be 39 losers!
So, here goes: there now follows reasons (though not necessarily all of them) why your horse won't win the Grand National. (Don't take it personally!)
Based on the following assumptions of the profile of a Grand National winner:
- Carries 11 stone or less (it's VERY tough to lug more than that round Aintree's ultimate test)
- Aged 8-12 (not too young, not too old)
- Won over 3m+ (it's 4 and a half miles on Saturday!)
- Won in a field of 12 or more (there'll be forty of them on Saturday!)
- No French bred has since 1909. What chance a centennial winner?!
- Must be an experienced chaser (more than ten runs, more than two seasons chasing)
- Had four to seven runs this season (as every winner bar Miinehoma since 1990 has)
- Placed in the first three that season prior to the Grand National
Your horse cannot win because:
Cloudy Lane: Too much weight;
War Of Attrition: Too much weight;
Chelsea Harbour: Too much weight;
Snowy Morning: Too much weight;
Knowhere: Too much weight;
Comply Or Die: Too much weight;
Ollie Magern: Too much weight;
Stan: Too much weight;
Black Apalachi: Too much weight;
Hear The Echo: Too much weight;
Preists Leap: Too much weight;
My Will: Too much weight;
Eurotrek: Too much weight; too old;
State Of Play: Too much weight;
Big Fella Thanks: Too much weight; too young;
Mon Mome: French bred;
Silver Birch: Not enough runs this season;
Butler's Cabin: French bred;
Offshore Account: Not enough runs this season;
Parson's Legacy: Not enough runs this season;
Reveillez: Not enough runs this season;
Fundamentalist: Too many runs this season
Golden Flight: Not enough runs this season;
L'Ami: French bred;
Battle Cry: Not won in a field of 12 or more;
Cornish Sett: Paul Nicholls' woeful record in the race (and in cross country races as well).
Fleet Street: Not enough chase experience; not won over far enough
Musica Bella: French bred;
Can't Buy Time: Too young;
Darkness: Not enough runs this season;
Irish Invader: Too many runs this season; not won over 3m+
Rambling Minster: No reason!
Southern Vic: None really, though he probably wants it softer and is a bit of a doubtful stayer.
Kilbeggan Blade: Three runs in Class 1 races, pulled up three times.
Brooklyn Brownie: No reason!
Himalayan Trail: Not enough chase experience
Arteea: Not enough runs this season;
Cerium: Not enough runs this season;
Idle Talk: Dodgy jumper (though has completed twice over National fences); doubtful stayer
Kelami: French bred;
Zabenz: Not won in a field of 12 or more over fences; not run for two years!
Maljimar: Not won over 3m+; not won in a field of 12 or more
Companero: Only three chase starts, may well not get a run
Iron Man: Not won over 3m+, may well not get a run
Mattock Ranger: So far out of form, it hurts (4 runs, pulled up 3 times and a duck egg); may well not get a run
So there it is. I REALLY like the chance of Rambling Minster, who jumps, stays, travels brilliantly, generally races up with the pace, acts on any going, and is bang in form.
Others with each way chances are: Cornish Sett, Southern Vic and Brooklyn Brownie.
One of these years a highly weighted horse will win, and the number of runners with more than 11 stone this year is fifteen, which - numerically at least - gives the big weights a 37.5% chance of winning.
I love the race like no other, and I've backed the following to date:
Like I say, I really like the Minster who is Rambling, and a couple of the choices I've made have been allotted too much weight, meaning their chances of winning are much reduced.
However, time will tell, and - whatever you're on - best of luck to you.
Incidentally, if you'd rather know why your horse CAN win, and you want the serious lowdown on all the other races over the three days of Aintree, starting on Thursday, you should consider investing in Gavin's brilliant Aintree Festival Trends guide.
He put 33/1 winner Something Wells up as his best handicap bet of the Cheltenham Festival, and much bigger prices were available on the betting exchanges. Of course, it will be tough to repeat that feat, but who knows?!
It's a snip at £14.95, and you can grab a copy here...
That's all for today.