Age Counts – Grand National 2015 Trends
Aintree Grand National
Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree (4.15) has produced a number of interesting patterns and trends down the years – one of which surrounds the winner’s age, as each of the last 10 were 9-11yo’s.
Age & Experience
Although Amberleigh House won as a 12yo in 2004, with Bindaree striking a blow for the 8yo’s in 2002,
the fact remains that only three of the last 20 winners came outside of the favoured 9-11yo bracket. It’s a fact that could count against the current 7/1 favourite, Shutthefrontdoor, who will need to be very good if winning as an 8yo.
Experience of running in handicap chases was also key, with each winner since 2005 having taken part in at least five handicap chases, while the same number won 1-3 such races.
Less of an issue was the weight carried, since the handicapper compressed this race in recent times, although 36 runners failed to carry 11st7lb or more to victory. Similarly, those officially rated 137-153 counted for all bar one of the last 10 National victors.
A top three effort last time was preferred, as they struck five times as often than those fourth or worse last time, although a bigger pointer came via the level of class, as each winner faced Grade 3 or lesser rivals, counting against the 108 losers who arrived via a Grade 1 or 2 event.
Fitness was also relevant over such a marathon trip, with each National winner having appeared during the last 21-60 days, which again could count against some of this year’s leading fancies in Shutthefrontdoor (152-day absence) and Balthazar King (148-day absence).
Trainers & Jockeys
You have to go back further than 10 years for the last trainer to have struck twice, which came courtesy of Nigel Twiston-Davies hitting the jackpot in 1998 and then 2002, while Paul Nicholls, David Pipe, Jonjo O’Neill and Willie Mullins all struck once apiece since 2005.
Backers may want to keep their options open when looking at the odds, as winners of this historic race came from all ends of the market. Indeed, big odds of 100/1, 66/1, 33/1 and 33/1 were landed in the last eight years, while following the market leader (including joint) would have struck three times for a blind profit. Therefore, ignore the odds and concentrate on the following trends…
Trends Summary (British & Irish form only)
Of the last 10 Grand National winners…
10 were 9-11yo’s – others were 0-123
10 carried 11st6lb or less – others were 0-36
10 were Irish (7) or French-bred (3) – British-breds were 0-60
10 ran in Grade 3 or lower class last time – those from Grade 1/2 were 0-108
10 ran in 5 handicap chases or more – others were 0-102
10 won 1-3 handicap chases – others were 0-166
10 ran during the last 21-60 days – others were 0-87
9 were officially rated 137-153 – others were 1-84
7 made the top three last time out at 7-141 (5%) – others were 3-258 (1%)