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 116 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 20 winners have jumped over the Grand National fences previously at Aintree.
  • Irish trained runners have won eight of the last 20 Grand Nationals.
  • 26 of the last 30 winners were ridden prominently from the outset of the second circuit.
  • 18 of the last 28 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 two Cheltenham Festival winners to have followed up in the Grand National since 1961. Tiger Roll won the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham before winning the 2018 Grand National.
  • There has only been three French-bred winners of the Grand National in the last 104 years, but three in the last seven 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 2019:

  • (24) Ramses De Teillee - 7 years old
  • (39) Bless The Wings - 14 years old


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:

  • (1) Anibale Fly 11-10
  • (2) Valtor 11-6

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. 22 of the last 23 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:

  • (1) Anibale Fly - 164

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, 2 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 1 furlong:

  • (1) Anibale Fly
  • (2) Valtor
  • (4) Outlander
  • (6) Go Conquer
  • (9) Lake View Lad
  • (11) Ballyoptic
  • (16) Warriors Tale
  • (17) Regal Encore
  • (18) Magic Of Light
  • (19) A Toi Phil
  • (21) Noble Endeavor
  • (23) Monbeg Notorious
  • (27) Ultragold
  • (28) Blow By Blow
  • (29) Up For Review
  • (35) Livelovelaugh

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:

  • (28) Blow By Blow
  • (35) Livelovelaugh

Check the form for the 2019 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:

  • (26) Step Back - 6 chase starts
  • (29) Up For Review - 7 chase starts
  • (35) Livelovelaugh - 7 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:

  • (2) Valtor - 70
  • (6) Go Conquer - 70
  • (10) Pleasant Company - 72
  • (14) One For Arthur - 77
  • (15) Rock The Kasbah - 113
  • (25 Just A Par - 119
  • (26) Step Back - 84

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.:

  • (7) Mala Beach - 2
  • (10) Pleasant Company - 2
  • (13) Rathvinden - 1
  • (14) One For Arthur - 2
  • (17) Regal Encore - 2
  • (21) Noble Endeavor - 2
  • (25) Just A Par - 1
  • (26) Step Back - 2
  • (40) Joe Farrell - 2

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:

  • (8) Minella Rocco
  • (11) Ballyoptic
  • (21) Noble Endeavor
  • (25) Mall Dini
  • (26) Step Back
  • (28) Blow By Blow
  • (29) Up For Review
  • (30) Singlefarmpayment
  • (33) Vintage Clouds
  • (35) Livelovelaugh
  • (40) Joe Farrell

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:

  • (5) Don Poli
  • (28) Blow By Blow
  • (32) Valseur Lido
  • (35) Livelovelaugh


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:

  • (1) Anibale Fly - FR
  • (2) Valtor - FR
  • (12) Dounikos - FR
  • (19) A Toi Phil - FR
  • (23) Ramses De Teillee - FR
  • (27) Ultragold - FR
  • (31) Vieux Lion Rouge - FR
  • (32) Valseur Lido - FR
  • (36) Walk In The Mill - FR

Grand National Trends Shortlist

  • Tiger Roll
  • Jury Duty
  • Tea For Two
  • General Principle
  • Folsom Blue

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 reigning champion Tiger Roll, who will head into the 2019 Grand National as the red-hot favourite having stormed to victory 12 months ago.

A fine winner of the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month, the Gordon Elliott-trained star could prove to be too good for his rivals again, but at skinny odds punters may look for an alternative in the Aintree showpiece, which is run on April 6 at 5:15pm.

Elliott will have an army of runners, but General Principle meets all the criteria to win the Grand National, and the Gigginstown House Stud-owned charge has already won an Irish Grand National, so it would be no surprise to see him go close here.

  • Tiger Roll
  • General Principle

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Winners Poll /
Who will win the 2019 Grand National?
Tiger Roll
Vintage Clouds
Anibale Fly
Walk In The Mill
General Principle
Pleasant Company
One For Arthur
Total Votes: 650
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