Grand National 2009: Why Your Horse Cannot Win!

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;

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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:

Grand National Portfolio

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.


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8 replies
  1. reggie says:

    thanks for the stats on the grand national its a good read and im sure your on a winner

    its all good fun

  2. rick says:

    The very best of luck to you i will be following you on a couple of these.
    cheers Rick.

  3. Barry says:

    Very good read, but how many have won last 2 races prior to big race? None, in my memory. Incidentally, I always back ew at good prices.
    Last year, purely using my own form guides had 1st 2 home. This year, the only 2 possibles are Idle Talk and Southern Vic, subject to final conditions on the day and any others coming into race. The former you discount, but it does qualify with your rules. Maybe good going will help and it has completed twice. Southern Vic is very well in but the going may be against so best left to race day. It appears to only run in soft/heavy so needs the heavens to open.
    Have already taken 100-1 with Ladbrokes on Idle Talk, and the fairy tale bit is the trainer, son of guess who?

  4. Matt Bisogno says:

    Thanks Barry – Idle Talk does not fail to qualify on any of the trend angles, but the way he tailed off last year in the race (14th of 15 finishers) tells me he won’t stay. Racing Post comment was: “Mid-division, headway to chase leaders 20th, weakened badly 4 out”

    So, not for me.

    Re Rambling Minster, I think it’s a curious way to eliminate a horse, based on it winning two races! The fact of the matter is that many winners do have a slightly ‘under the radar’ campaign prior to Aintree. You might be right, but there is no obvious reason why – if he jumps the fences (obviously!) – he won’t run a very, very good race. I hope.

    Finally, regarding Southern Vic, I’ve backed him, but again have some reservations about both distance and ground.

    Let’s be clear – out and out stayers win the Grand National.

    The last five winners had previously won over at least 3m4f. Southern Vic’s furthest winning distance is 3m, just 67% of the race distance here.

    So, whichever way you cut it, Rambling Minster is a really strong fancy for me, and – bar a fall (which is the fate many encounter, of course) – he must run close.

  5. Scott Armstrong says:

    I have backed Cornish Sett and Brooklyn Brownie each way at odds of 70 and 50 for win, and 12 and 9.4 for place after receiving your National review. Hope I haven`t put the mockers on!!!

  6. hardraysnight says:

    while i have never forgiven the you know whos for that act of international terrorism and sinking rainbow warrior i find it hard to go past butlers cabin, so ill keep my money in my pocket rather than politicise a fine spectacle

  7. mattgiffin says:

    hello matt
    been awaiting your breakdown,you were spot on at cheltenham with your selection,i knew that expresso would win but you gave me an easy second place with zaahid…

    i have been looking at cornish sett for weeks but could not find out why i was drawn to it, ill be an e/w on cornish and rambling minister



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