Why Your Horse CAN’T Win The Grand National

It's become an annual event now, dear reader, and I will continue my somewhat askance view of the world's favourite race today.

At 4.15 tomorrow, 40 horses and riders will set out to hop over 30 fences whilst traveling four and a half miles. Most will fail to complete, but one will win.

In today's post, I'll tell you why I think your horse can't win. The beauty of such a piece is that I'm guaranteed to be 97.5% correct! 😉

So, here we go:

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Madison Du Berlais (FR) - Too much weight, French bred
Mon Mome (FR) - Too much weight, French bred
Vic Venturi (IRE) - Too much weight, never won in a chase field bigger than eight runners
Black Apalachi (IRE) - Too much weight
Joe Lively (IRE) - Too much weight, never won in a chase field bigger than ten runners
Don't Push It (IRE) - Too much weight, only one 3m+ win, no Graded or 'National' wins, usually held up
Comply Or Die (IRE) - Too much weight, questionable completion record (although obviously did win here!)
Tricky Trickster (IRE) - Too much weight, too young, too inexperienced
Niche Market (IRE) - Too much weight?
Made In Taipan (IRE) - Too much weight?, never won beyond 2m1f in a chase!
Dream Alliance - Too much weight?, poor completion record, needs it softer
Cloudy Lane - Too much weight?
Nozic (FR) - Too much weight?, French bred, only one win beyond 3m
My Will (FR) - Too much weight?, French bred
Pablo Du Charmil (FR) Too much weight?, French bred, never won beyond 2m2f, never won a chase in a field bigger than 7 runners!
Ballyholland (IRE) - No Graded form, not won beyond 2m6f
Backstage (FR) - French bred, only nine chase runs, no Graded form, too slow?
Beat The Boys (IRE) - Too slow?, failed to complete in six of last eight runs (won the other two!)
Preists Leap (IRE) - Too slow?, wants it softer, completed last year without ever threatening
Snowy Morning (IRE) - Perfect profile for the race, slight worry about how long since running over a stamina trip
Can't Buy Time (IRE) - Won 5 of last 10 chases, four beyond 3 miles, live player, McCoy on wrong one?!
Big Fella Thanks - Makes jumping mistakes, probably not quick enough
State of Play - Good Aintree form, just the one run this term (a 'P') which is a negative, but a player at best
Character Building (IRE) - Never won above Class 2 before, I've gone off this one (though my bet was placed long since)
Ellerslie George (IRE) - Probably too slow though did win a Listed race over 3m2f, dark horse at 100/1
Eric's Charm (FR) - French bred, poor completion record (though won last two), never won above Class 2
King Johns Castle (IRE) - 2nd two years ago though never WON beyond 2m3f, place prospects again
Conna Castle (IRE) - Never won beyond 2m4f, not won for two years
Ballyfitz - Not won a chase in a field bigger than 7 (won 24 runner hurdle), never won above Class 2, poorish completion record
Ollie Magern - Never won in a field bigger than 9, over the top
Arbor Supreme (IRE) - No Graded form, probably just not good enough
Maljimar (IRE) - Never won beyond 2m5f, moderate completion record
The Package - Too young, too inexperienced, (still feared!)
Piraya (FR) - French bred, too young, never won beyond 2m5f
Irish Raptor (IRE) - No Graded form, poor completion record, (but has won over these fences)
Cerium (FR) - French bred, 5th last year, 8th in Gold Cup this year, never won beyond 2m3f
Palypso De Creek (FR) - French bred, too young
Hello Bud (IRE) - Scottish National winner, snuck in here off light weight, dark'un
Flintoff (USA) - Never won a chase in a bigger field than 8 runners, never won above Class 3
Royal Rosa (FR) - French bred, never won a chase in a bigger field than 3 runners (!), no decent chase form, poor completion record

So there you have it. Green horses are my fancies, orange my fears, the rest I'll not fret about (careless?!)...

Who do you like for the big race? Vote top right and/ or comment below!

Whatever you're on, the very best of luck. And let's hope for a fantastic race!


Madison Du Berlais (FR) 42 Course winner
Mon Mome (FR) 22 Course and Dist winner
Vic Venturi (IRE) 49 Course winner
Black Apalachi (IRE) 49 Course winner
Joe Lively (IRE) 25
Don't Push It (IRE) 23 Course winner
Comply Or Die (IRE) 25 Course and Dist winner
Tricky Trickster (IRE) 22
Niche Market (IRE) 25
Made In Taipan (IRE) 14
Dream Alliance 49
Cloudy Lane 35
Nozic (FR) 103
My Will (FR) 22
Pablo Du Charmil (FR) 70
Ballyholland (IRE) 41
Backstage (FR) 14
Beat The Boys (IRE) 25
Preists Leap (IRE) 25
Snowy Morning (IRE) 41
Can't Buy Time (IRE) 35
Big Fella Thanks 35
State of Play 133 Course winner
Character Building (IRE) 25
Ellerslie George (IRE) 35
Eric's Charm (FR) 35
King Johns Castle (IRE) 27
Conna Castle (IRE) 43
Ballyfitz 23
Ollie Magern 25
Arbor Supreme (IRE) 41
Maljimar (IRE) 120
The Package 25 Beaten Favourite
Piraya (FR) 42
Irish Raptor (IRE) 126 Course winner
Cerium (FR) 22 Course winner
Palypso De Creek (FR) 23
Hello Bud (IRE) 23
Flintoff (USA) 103
Royal Rosa (FR) 80
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32 replies
    • Matt Bisogno says:

      One winner in the last century, and a handful of places in the last ten years, from around a quarter of the runners makes it a negative for me, Sean.

      Mon Mome won a really slow running last year, and I doubt that will happen again, especially with the quicker ground.

      Of course, I’ve been wrong before, once or twice…! 😉

  1. Kieran says:

    Hi Matt

    King John’s Castle for me. If fit, with a bit of heavy rain in the morning, nailed on for a place and with luck in running – who knows?


  2. sim says:

    Hi Matt,
    Backed Snowy Morning anti-post at 33’s + 25’s, looks pretty good as now around 16’s/14’s, just gotta win now, also got him in a small e/w double with fulham @ 50/1 for the europa, more hopeful than confident. Good Luck to you and all your readers.

  3. Dave says:

    got my list down to,Erics charm,maljimar,niche Market,Flintoff and Mon Momme.I have picked many a national winner so hopefully it will be one of these so it’s fingers crossed again for me

  4. Richard says:

    Hi matt
    Snowy Morning for me too.
    I wouldn’t worry about him not running over a distance for a long time.
    I think W. Mullins has been protecting his handicap mark by keeping him sweet over inadequate distances.At least thats my theory.

  5. Tom says:

    The National is a horse race all it’s own- the most unlikely horses have won in the past! But I agree with your summary.

    The one with my money on is “Hello Bud” E/W of course. but I’ll do a saver on Snowy Morning and Can’t Buy Time – just in case!


  6. Alan says:

    King John’s Castle — jumps efficiently and like a stag. Only worry he doesn’t quicken.

  7. paul says:

    Hi Matt
    Mon Mome “Too Much Weight French Bred” a remark that is perhaps a wee bit silly the too much weight could apply but the French Bred bit is irrelevant it didn’t stop him last year.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Paul

      Perhaps a wee bit silly, but see my earlier comment: one French winner in 100 years is not a tremendous statistic given how many runners there have been… Of course, I’m all too familiar with egg on face situations and this may be another one!


  8. David Walker says:



  9. Lewis Cooper says:

    Hi matt, Personally i do the same every year study study study even though deep down i know its like a lottery. I agree with you i like snowy morning but i think the record books are going to be broken and im still sticking with The Package. had a tip for it at cheltenham and it would of won had the race been longer, I know a 7year old hasnt won it since 1940 but i still sticking with my gut instinct. At Least if it does flop ive got Alfredtheordinary to bail me out at lingfield. tip for ya there.
    Good luck to everyone in the national with your bets or if your just watching it!
    Lewis C.

  10. marty says:

    Cerium for me, as cerium is a metal used to spark a lighter cerium can light my fire

  11. chris says:

    im on ew mon mome think has an outstanding chance ran on well at cheltenham, charcter building aimed at the race, cerium light weight, also at a big big price mr pointment won round the course 100/1 gud luck with all ur selections

  12. Gavin says:

    Sorry for being a bit off topic but did anyone else see Gary’s comment on Wednesday where he tipped Always Waining at 100/1?

    After his double at Cheltenham I think we should forget the National and get him to post tomorrow nights Lottery Numbers.

  13. John says:

    To slow????????? Flip me Matt it is 4 1/2 miles you know!!!!!!
    I was walking ,Nay, Staggering! home from the pub last week, when i stopped at this big hedge for a leak.This big Grey horses head appeared over it and near scared the S***e outta me!!!!
    I Looked it in the eye and asked soooo whos gonna win the National next week?.The nag nodded its head a few times and went Neahhhhhhhhhhhhh!! and bolted back up the field.Come to think of it maybe it said”Greyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy” not Neahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! So there you go a GREY is gonna will the National.I will take payment in Guiness only folks!!!.

  14. John says:

    WIN not will. Duhhhhhhhhh John.Hang on ummmmmmmmmm its another omen whats that one people say . Where theres a WILL theres a GREY, Ummmmmmmmmmmmm

  15. jeff says:

    Ellersbie george has most stats in his favour had a few quid on betfair @ fancy prices.

  16. michael says:

    three against the field for the 2010 grand national all ew

    snowy morning 18/1 with betfair

    arbor supreme 20/1 .. ..

    character building 22/1 .. ..

    great bet to make a profit!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Gary says:

    Hi Matt having had a simply unbelievable week i’m hoping to finish it off with a good national result.Ollie Magern and Maljimar are my biggest winners but I also have some others at very long odds to small stakes as well as Gavs trends guide selections doubled up with Bluesea Cracker so I think I have most bases covered.If the fav wins then i’m sunk(but I couldn’t back him with your money).My main bet and fancy for the last day is in the 5.00 I’m hoping for a big run from Nortonthorpe Lad at around 28/1 he looks a massive price and a cracking ew bet.

    Cheers Gary

  18. karl says:

    After Bluesea Cracker winning. I’ve got doubles on Snowy Morning, State of Play, (PLEASE… one of these two to pay for my Hols.) and smaller doubles on Comply or Die, Niche Market, and Arbour Supreme. Good luck to all, and whatever wins I’ve had 5 days dreaming about a 4 figure payout.


  19. Ger says:

    Ballyholland (IRE) – No Graded form, – Won the galway plate thats a Grade 1 in Ireland

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Sorry Ger, The Galway Plate’s a Grade A handicap chase. That’s less than a Listed race (or maybe the same), but it’s far from a Grade 1.


  20. Tim says:


    I think given the ever shrinking fences, better horses allowed in due to the handicapper adjusting the weights and probably general improvement in training methods – some of these trends may need revising.

    I’m rapidly going off the National as my favourite race

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      I managed to back 3rd through to 8th! Win only, naturally…

      Reckon you’re right about the weight, though the good to firm ground (whatever the official report was!) made it less of a stiff test. Note that the Frenchies were nowhere…

      From eleven runners, the best they managed was Cerium who finished 11th, beaten half the track. I imagine the time will compare favourably with recent runnings. It looked fast run…

      Pos. Dr. Dist. Horse Wt Jockey Trainer Age SP
      1 Don’t Push It (IRE) 11-5 A P McCoy Jonjo O’Neill 10 10/1 jf
      opened 20/1 £10000-£500 (x5) £9000-£500 £80000-£5000 £10000-£600 (x8) £5000-£300 (x4) £10000-£700 (x7) £5000-£350 (x5) £10000-£800 (x5) £5000-£400 (x9) £10000-£900
      2 5 Black Apalachi (IRE) 11-6 p Denis O’regan D T Hughes 11 14/1
      opened 16/1 £20000-£1250 Each Way £19200-£1200 Each Way
      3 20 State of Play 10-11 Paul Moloney Evan Williams 10 16/1
      £8000-£500 Each Way
      4 3 Big Fella Thanks 10-12 B J Geraghty P F Nicholls 8 10/1 jf
      opened 9/1 £10000-£1000 £5000-£500 (x7)
      5 7 Hello Bud (IRE) 10-6 t Mr S Twiston-davies N A Twiston-Davies 12 20/1
      opened 33/1 £16500-£500 (x6) £10000-£300 (x4) £12500-£500 £5000-£200 (x6)
      6 1½ Snowy Morning (IRE) 10-13 D J Casey W P Mullins 10 14/1
      opened 12/1 £7000-£500 Each Way
      7 nk Character Building (IRE) 10-11 Miss N Carberry J J Quinn 10 16/1
      opened 20/1 £20000-£1000
      8 12 Cloudy Lane 11-3 J M Maguire D McCain Jnr 10 25/1
      opened 33/1 £50000-£1500 £10000-£300 (x7) £10000-£300 Each Way

  21. SEAN says:

    I did have a few quid on the winner @ 40/1 ONLY because McCoy decided that would be his ride because of the wet weather early in the week. When the ground dried out I laid it back because McCoy didn’t seem to have any confifence in the horse.

    So I ended up winning for the wrong reason??

    My big winner would have been BIG FELLA THANKS and think he has to have a shout next year. Though I thinker softer ground would be better for him.

    That old weight stat s/b changed to <= 11' 5lb or maybe dismissed altogether; bit like the headgear stat.

    I would like to see KAUTO try 4.5 miles, would he stay??

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Sean

      Think the weight stat has had many more contenders than the headgear one, so shouldn’t be dismissed lightly. That said, there is a changing trend, largely from the official handicapper, to give better horses a chance by ‘tweaking’ their handicap mark by a pound or three from its official mark.

      Re Kauto, he barely stays 3m2f, so he’s got less chance of staying the National trip than me (and I’m a five furlong sprinter who doesn’t quite get home…!)

      😉 Just my opinions.


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