Picking the horse you want to back for the Grand National is difficult. Some people like to do the painstaking hours of research and analysis while others just rock up, throw a dart at the racecard and hope for the best. No matter what tactic you choose, there’s no guarantee of success. So in honour of the various methods people use, here’s our breakdown of the ways to pick a Grand National horse. Here’s part four of a five part series that will hopefully get you closer to landing a winner.
#4 Logic is over-rated, bring on the nags
If a horse finished wheezing, being carried over the finish line in a wheelbarrow behind a field of moderately speedy donkeys and a leisurely glacier early in the season, don’t lose the faith. Most trainers will have had the Grand National in mind for their horse long in advance and anything the horse does in the meantime is simply a tune-up for the main event of no real consequence.
One of the reasons there are so many ‘shock’ results in the Grand National is because too much emphasis is put on form and recent runs. There’s a logic to backing on form, but that suggests there’s a logic to the Grand National, which there clearly isn’t. It’s a chaotic race and where being the best horse is no guarantee that you’ll stay out of trouble and make it around safely.
For bit of value, it’s worth looking at the very worst form in the race and going with it. Mon Mome had been beaten by a combined 99 lengths before he landed his National at 100/1 in 2009. Last year, Auroras Encore claimed victory after his three races prior to the National saw him beaten by 99 total lengths in two and fall in the other. At 66/1.
This year, there’s no shortage of apparent no-hopers who might make an interesting bet. Battle Group has been pulled up twice and refused once in his last three races and generally shown as much fighting spirit as a Frenchman around 1940. Maybe he’ll get it right this time around. By the time the tape goes up, it’ll be a few days short of four years since Burton Port won a race, but he has shown some class in the past and can’t be totally laughed out of town.
Despite being a leading contender in the betting and the leading Irish challenger, Prince De Beauchene hasn’t won a chase in over two years and a race of any description in a year and half. He has a bit of an excuse as he was largely involved in high class races against quality opponents. Does that explain things or just mean he was rubbish surrounded by better rivals? We’ll soon find out.
If you’re banking on an outsider, he’s a selection of horses with the worst form since their last trip into the winners’ enclosure:
Some of the horses with the worst form heading into the Grand National (since last win):
Hunt Ball – 3686934
Quito De La Roque – 45F475P
Colbert Station – U03U0F
Walkon – 345P22P52U4
Wayward Prince – P7652PU7
Teaforthree – 86203928
Battle Group – PRP
Prince De Beauchene – 23094
Burton Port – 2242509P82
Our Father – 24759
Hawkes Point – 2P426
Vesper Bell – 372FU9
Raz De Maree – P0P3
Shakalakaboomboom – 2296P0
Last Time D’Albain – 433009
READ THE REST OF THE SERIES:
- #1 I JUST WANT A RUN FOR MY MONEY
- #2 I LIKE A GOOD FAIRYTALE STORY
- #3 GIVE ME A HORSE WITH RELEVANCE TO MY OWN LIFE
- #5 OH! WHAT A LOVELY COLOUR
- Grand National Betting Tactics: #3 Give me something with relevance to my life
- Where’s your money going on the Grand National? Proof you should be listening to punters from Liverpool and Cork!
- The Grand National 2014 Sweepstake Kit from Paddy Power
- INFOGRAPHIC: 178 years of Grand National history explained with pretty pictures and whimsical words