Grand National Trends

Grand National Trends

Hindsight tells us every year that it is easy to select the winner of the Grand National, provided that one follows the very basic trends that have established themselves over the years.

We've compiled a list of the main trends from the last 12 years of the Grand National for you to use when searching out your Grand National bet. This isn't an exact science but it should help you create a shortlist.

Grand National Trends Snapshot

  • There has been only two winners of the Grand National carrying more than 11st 5lbs since 1977, out of 112 runners, in 2012 with Neptune Collonges (11-6) and Many Clouds (11-9) in 2015.
  • Many Clouds was only the fourth horse since 1983 to carry more than 11st, the others were Don't Push It in 2010,Hedgehunter who carried 11-1 in 2005 and Neptune Collonges (11-6) in 2015. Ballabriggs carried exactly 11st in 2011.
  • Since 1970 all the winners, bar Rule The World (2016) have had a win over three miles on the roll of honour
  • There has not been a winner of the Grand National under the age of eight for over 75 years.
  • Nine of the last 19 winners have jumped over the Grand National fences previously.
  • Irish trained runners have won seven of the last 19 Grand Nationals.
  • 25 of the last 29 winners were ridden prominently from the outset of the second circuit.
  • 17 of the last 27 winners started in the first eight in the betting.
  • The previous year's Irish Grand National has been a key race in the form.
  • Check for previous Grand National form.
  • There has only been one Cheltenham Festival winner to have followed up in the Grand National since 1961.
  • There has only been three French-bred winners of the Grand National in the last 103 years, but three in the last six years, Neptune Collonges in 2012 and Mon Mome in 2009 and Pineau De Re in 2014.

Have a look at hour our trends analysis forms in a snapshot via our Grand National Selector Tool.

We take a look at each aspect in detail below using trends gathered from the last 10 runnings of the Grand National:


It may surprise many to know that there has not been a single Grand National Winner in the last 75 years who was aged below 8 years old; nor has there been one older than 12 for the last 85 years. Those facts alone tell us that it is essential to look for horses aged between 8-12 and to draw a line through the rest.

Using this trend you can rule out the following Grand National entries from winning in 2018:

  • (25) Raz De Maree - 13 years old
  • (26) Baie De Iles - 7 years old
  • (29) Maggio - 13 years old
  • (36) Bless The Wings - 13 years old

Find out more about the age trend.


The Grand National is by far and away the toughest proposition a horse will ever have to face, it is therefore an obvious statement that the less weight a horse carries the greater its chance of running well. Since the WW2 only seven horses have carried a weight of more than 11st 5lb and two of those were achieved by the legend of Aintree legends, Red Rum..

Horses with some class will have a bigger burden than the rest, but even they with anything more than 11st 5lb will struggle to win the race. However, given the quality of the race is getting higher every year, this trend might not be as important as in the past, with four of the last eight winners carrying 11st or more.

Recently, Neptune Collonges carried 11st 6lbs to glory in the 2012 Grand National, while in 2015 Many Clouds defied a hefty weight of 11st 9lbs to storm to glory for Oliver Sherwood.

Horses set to carry more than 11-5:

  • (2) Blaklion 11-9
  • (3) Anibale Fly 11-7
  • (4) The Last Samuri 11-6
  • (5) Valseur Lido 11-6

Check the weights for the 2018 Grand National.

Handicap Rating

Despite being a handicap, meaning that all forty Grand National runners, in theory, should cross the line together, only those with some class can realistically win the Grand National. 21 of the last 22 Grand National's have been by a horse rated higher than 139 and any horse who lines up for the race with handicap lower than this is highly unlikely to succeed. Even 2009 Grand National winner, Mon Mome who was 100/1, had a rating of 148.

The last ten winners were rated between 136 and 160 so for the purpose of the trends we've ruled out the following:

  • (2) Blaklion - 161

Get the odds for the 2018 Grand National.

Staying Power

There will be a number of horses, usually younger ones who will come into the Grand National without the benefit of a long run i.e that is a run of more than 3 miles, 1 furlong. These are usually horses of great potential, but rarely will one win over the Aintree four mile course. The last horse to win the Grand National without running a decent length chase was Gay Trip back in 1970.

Those horses without a chase win over 3 miles:

  • (7) Alpha Des Obeaux
  • (10) Tenor Nivernais
  • (11) Regal Encore
  • (17) Warriors Tale
  • (18) Seeyouatmidnight
  • (22) Ucello Conti
  • (30) Pendra
  • (34) Captain Redbeard
  • (39) Double Ross

Get the historic Grand National winning distances.

Proven Class

Although it happens now and again, it is a general trend that horses that win the Grand National have ran well or even won one of the top Grand National Trial races that are available throughout the season.

It can sometimes occur that these horses may well win one of these trials a couple of years before winning the Grand National, making it important to trace the very recent history of these races.

Eight out of the last ten winners all have at least one win to their name of a race valued £29,000, and we can also put a line through any horse who has not won either a Class 1 or Class 2 race:

  • (12) Delusionofgrandeur
  • (22) Ucello Conti
  • (26) I Just Know
  • (32) Childrens List
  • (38) Final Nudge

Check the form for the 2018 Grand National.


Experience has been key for Grand National winners, with all of the last 27 winners having run in at least 8 chase starts before taking on the Grand National. Many Clouds became the first second season chaser to win the race since Numbersivalverde in 2006, both had ridden in 10 chases coming into the race, the least amount in those last 27 years.

No novice has won the race since Mr What in 1958.

Those horses with less than 8 chase starts or a Novice:

  • (32) Childrens List - 4 chase starts

Recent Run

Eight of the last 10 winners have all had their last prep run for the Grand National within 56 days of the big race and only two winners in the last 33 runnings had not run in the last 50 days. A freshener seems to do the trick and horses coming into the race off a longer lay-off have struggled.

Those horses who haven't run within 56 days of the Grand National:

  • (7) Alpha Des Obeaux - 69
  • (8) Perfect Candidate - 77
  • (11) Carlingford Lough - 107
  • (17) Warriors Tale - 77
  • (19) Gas Line Boy - 98
  • (21) Pleasant Company - 79
  • (22) Ucello Conti - 79
  • (25) Raz De Maree - 98
  • (27) Virgilio - 119
  • (28) Baie Des Iles 62
  • (31) Buywise - 70
  • (32) Childrens List - 62
  • (33) Lord Windermere - 126
  • (39) Road To Riches 62

Season Form

Eight of the last ten winners have all run at least three times over chase fences that season in the build up to the Grand National. Seven of the last thirteen winners had run over hurdles at some stage earlier that season, often getting a run in without effecting their mark. We rule out the following horses who have run less than three times this season.:

  • (10) Tenor Nivernais - 2
  • (18) Seeyouatmidnight - 1
  • (21) Pleasant Company - 2
  • (22) Ucello Conti - 2
  • (23) Saint Are - 2
  • (30) Pendra - 1
  • (32) Childrens List - 2
  • (33) Lord Windermere - 1

Winning Form

Nine of the last ten winners had all won at least three times over chase fences, so with this criteria in mind, we have ruled out the following horses who have not won three times or more over chase fences:

  • (1) Thunder And Roses
  • (20) The Dutchman
  • (22) Ucello Conti
  • (32) Childrens List
  • (37) Milansbar

Big Field Experience

All of the last ten winners of the Grand National had previously won or placed in a chase with at least 15 runners proving they could cope with the hustle and bustle of a big field such as they'll experience in the Grand National.

Those runners without big field win or place form include:

  • (8) Perfect Candidate
  • (12) Delusionofgrandeur
  • (24) Walk In The Mill
  • (24) Beeves
  • (26) I Just Know
  • (27) Virgilio
  • (29) Maggio
  • (32) Childrens List
  • (33) Lord Windermere
  • (34) Captain Redbeard


Thirteen of the last seventeen winners were bred in Britain and Ireland and although we've seen three French bred winners in the last ten years, the horse's progeny is still a factor you could use when selecting your shortlist.

Horses ruled out through breeding:

  • (3) Anibale Fly - FR
  • (5) Valseur Lido - FR
  • (7) Alpha Des Obeaux - FR
  • (10) Tenor Nivernais - FR
  • (15) Vieux Lion Rouge - FR
  • (22) Ucello Conti - FR
  • (23) Saint Are - FR
  • (24 Walk In The Mill - FR
  • (25) Raz De Maree - FR
  • (27) Virgilio - FR
  • (28) Baie Des Iles - FR
  • (29) Maggio - FR
  • (35) Houblon Des Obeaux - FR

Grand National Trends Shortlist

  • Total Recall
  • Shantou Flyer
  • Tiger Roll
  • Chase The Spud
  • The Dutchman
  • Bless The Wings

Final Grand National Selections

We have a solid list of horses on our shortlist using our Grand National Trends, but the two that stand out from the rest are the Willie Mullins-trained Total Recall, who is vying for favouritism, and Colin Tizzard's The Dutchman, who is a progressive performer over fences.

Total Recall was a fine winner of the Ladbrokes Trophy earlier in the season, and while he failed to land a blow in the Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of the classiest horses in the field, and will be aiming to hand Willie Mullins more success in the race.

The Dutchman is less exposed that Total Recall, but showed when winning the Peter Marsh Chase that he can produce the goods on the big stages, and could relish the test of stamina the Grand National has to offer.

  • Total Recall
  • The Dutchman

Have a bet on the 2018 Grand National.