2018 Grand National trends

The Other ‘Long Standing’ Trends

For 2018 I’ve decided to make a big distinction between what I’d describe as the key performance trends to look for when picking a Grand National winner and the more arbitrary trends, which I’ve consolidated here into one post.

If you’ve been reading this blog and my Facebook updates you may have already read my three posts on STAMINA, WEIGHT and FORM, plus I’ll be publishing a fourth centred around AINTREE course form. I consider these to be the four directly relevant performance based trends.

The following are more arbitrary, but nonetheless very useful trends, reflecting a blend of experience and preparation that has become very typical of a Grand National winner. You may read a few of them reading other tipsters and newspapers in the run up to the big race.

Here’s a summary of each along with the number of winners since 1994 who conform with each one.

  • Stamina – 22/24 winners had previously scored a win over 3 miles or further.
  • Age – 24/24 winners were aged 8-12.
  • Experience – 23/24 winners have at least 10 career starts over fences.
  • Class – 23/24 winners won a Class 1 or Class 2 chase.
  • Season Runs – 22/24 winners had 3-6 runs from August 1 – Aintree meeting
  • Days Rest – 23/24 winners had raced in the previous 56 days.

At face value these trends appear to be highly predictive. In fact, over a 18-year stretch from 1996-2013 they were pretty much bullet-proof. 17/19 winners conformed with every single one of the above marks – only two winners (Red Marauder in 2001 and Bindaree in 2002 winner) fell down on one single trend.

But three of the last four winners have fallen down on 1 or more of the above…

  • 2014 – Pineau De Re. SEASON RUNS – 8 runs prior to Aintree.
  • 2016 – Rule The World. LONG WIN, CLASS WIN & – No career wins over fences.
  • 2017 – One For Arthur. DAYS REST – 84 days.

As you can see, after a nineteen year-era of hanging your hat on the above trends, these have seemingly become exposed as the somewhat arbitrary measures they are.

2016 winner Rule The World managed to fail on two counts because he hadn’t previously won a race over fences.

Another shifting trend looks to be around race preparation. 2017 winner One For Arthur broke a long standing mark having not raced since mid-January. However, this might be a reflection of wider preparation trends – he was one of 8 runners coming into last years’ race off the back of a break lasting more than 56 days.

Having been blind sided by these trends over the last couple of years I’ve decided a more pragmatic approach this year, allowing for the possibility that our winner will break the odd arbitrary marker.

So lets take a look at these trends and see who falls at each hurdle!

STAMINA – No Win Over 3 Miles Or Further

  • Seeyouatmidnight
  • Ucello Conti
  • Captain Redbeard
  • Double Ross

AGE – Less than 8, More Than 12

  • Raz De Maree
  • Baie Des Iles
  • Maggio
  • Bless The Wings

EXPERIENCE – Less Than 10 Career Starts

  • Total Recall
  • Seeyouatmidnight
  • The Dutchman
  • Pleasant Company
  • Childrens List

CLASS – Has Not Won A Class 1 Or Class 2 Chase

  • I Just Know
  • Childrens List
  • Final Nudge
  • Delusionofgrandeur*
  • Vintage Clouds*

SEASON RUNS – Not Between 3-6 Runs Since August

  • Alpha Des Obeaux
  • Shantou Flyer
  • Tenor Nivernais
  • Seeyouatmidnight
  • Pleasant Company
  • Ucello Conti
  • Saint Are
  • Beeves
  • Virgilio
  • Pendra
  • Childrens List
  • Lord Windermere

DAYS REST – Not Run In The Last 63 Days (allowing for extra week before Aintree)

  • Minella Rocco
  • Alpha Des Obeaux
  • Perfect Candidate
  • Carlingford Lough
  • Warriors Tale
  • Gas Line Boy
  • Pleasant Company
  • Ucello Conti
  • Raz De Maree
  • Virgilio
  • Buywise
  • Childrens List
  • Lord Windermere
  • Road To Riches
  • Walk In The Mill*

Allowing for the likelihood that our winner will miss the odd trend (and only 11 runners hit every single mark!), I’ll side with the pragmatic logic that our winner is quite possibly going to bust one of the above trends, but reject horses who miss two or more.

  • ALPHA DES OBEAUX
  • SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT
  • PLEASANT COMPANY
  • UCELLO CONTI
  • RAZ DE MAREE
  • VIRGILIO
  • CHILDRENS LIST
  • CAPTAIN REDBEARD
  • LORD WINDERMERE

I’ll be posting a full list of trends rejects and the reasons why, before revealing my shortlist and final selections on Friday night.