2024 Grand National trends for punters to profit
We all want to find an edge when betting, and this is never truer that when trying to pick a Grand National winner from the 40 runners that will line up at Aintree on Saturday afternoon. Since the Grand National was first run in 1839, several positive and negatives trends have emerged that can be used to our advantage when weeding out the no hopers and picking out a bit of value to help beat the bookmakers.
Positive Grand National trends to look for
- Horses aged 8 or older have the best recent record
- 12 of the last 14 winners were having their first run in the race
- Horses that had won or finished placed in a National race of any description (Look at the Scottish, Irish and Welsh Nationals)
- Look for horses that raced over hurdles at some point earlier that season
- Horses that like to be ridden up with the pace in their races often do well (avoid horses that like to be held up)
- Irish-trained horses have a great recent record in the Grand National.
- Irish-bred horses have the best recent Grand National record
- Look for horses that finished unplaced in the previous season’s Grand National – they often do well
- Horses that have won over 3 miles in the past is a virtual ‘must-have’
Negative Grand National trends to look for
- Horses aged 8 or younger don’t have the best of records – the last 7-year-old to win before Noble Yeats was in 1940
- Horses aged 13 or older don’t have a great Grand National winning record
- Runners that have fallen or unseated three or more times often don’t run well
- Past Grand National winners and previous Grand National placed horses have bad returning records – although, the 2018 Grand National winner, Tiger Roll, did buck this trend in 2019
- Horses that had last raced over 50 days ago often don’t run well
- Runners that had hard races at the Cheltenham Festival, run the previous month, don’t fare well.
Did you know that Noble Yeats was the first 7-year-old to win the Grand National since 1940? Or that no mare has won the race since 1951? Even betting on the Grand National favourite can be a flawed strategy.
The Grand National trends don’t lie. So, to help we’ve got the main positives and negatives to apply to the Grand National trends in 2024. By following these simple rules, you’ll at least have the make-up of past Grand National winners before placing your 2024 Aintree Grand National bets.
Grand National trends and tips – Do’s and dont’s
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With so much Grand National history, there are plenty of Grand National trends and stats to take into the race each year. Some trends have hot periods while others, like – as we’ve mentioned – the fact we’ve hardly seen any 7 years-olds or mares win the race, are simply ‘must-have’ stats you need to know before you bet on the Grand National.
Yes, it’s likely that the Grand National winner will fall down on at least one or two key trends and you can get bombarded with stats prior to the race. Therefore, it’s key to decide for yourself which trends are slightly more important than others. But you can’t go too far wrong in just siding with the trends that have stood the test of time. After all, if something has happened more often than not in the last 20 Grand Nationals then, surely, it’s better to put the odds and history in your favour and look for horses with certain profiles that fit these key past stats.
At first glance with 40 runners contesting 30 fences for 4 1/4 miles, the Aintree Grand National does have quite a scary look to it when it comes to trying to hunt down the winner. However, despite those daunting factors, you can often find the winner by following a few simple Grand National trends.
Top Grand National trends to beat the bookies
Some recent winners have carried 11st (or more) to victory, but looking back at recent trends make this weight your cut-off point. If you look back over the winners we’ve only seen the mighty Red Rum (1974 & 1977) and Many Clouds (2015) carry 11-8 or more – 21 of the last 28 winners carried 10st-12lbs kilograms or less! Since 1978, 120 horses have tried to win with more than 11st 5lbs – with just two winners – Many Clouds (11-9) in 2015 & Neptune Collonges (11-6) in 2012.
Staying Power: Stamina is an absolute must when scanning down the entries. Year-after-year there are always plenty of hype horses that are certainly talented, but the big question surrounding their chance is will they stay the gruelling 4m 1/4f trip? You have to trawl back to 1970 and a horse called Gay Trip to find the last victor that won the Grand National having not previously won over at least 3 miles.
Experience is a vital attribute when looking back at past Grand National winners with horses aged 8 years-old or older certainly the ones to focus on. Before Noble Yeats won in 2022, you had to go back to 1940 (Bogskar) to find the last 7-year-old to grab the Merseyside marathon! So, don’t be too put off if your fancy is in their twilight years – but not a teenager, while avoiding horses aged 7! It’s also worth noting that only five 8 year-olds have won the last 28 renewals. 25 of the last 31 winners were aged 9 or older, while no horse aged 13 or older has won since 1923 or placed since 1969.
Our friends from the across the Irish Sea have raided these shores to win the Aintree Grand National many times in recent years, so certainly take a second glance at any of their runners. Eight of the last 15 winners came from Irish-based stables and 17 of the last 22 winners were bred in Ireland!
Experience over fences
With thirty of the most unique obstacles in horse racing to contend with then having previous form over the tricky Grand National fences can be a huge advantage. Many recent Grand National winners had previously been tried over these Grand National-style fences in the past. The Topham Chase and Becher Chase – or a previous run in the big race itself – are the main races that are staged at Aintree racecourse over the same Grand National-style fences to look back at. 13 of the last 23 winners had won or been placed in a National-type race before. Three of the last 11 winners ran in the Scottish National the previous season, while five of the last 18 winners had been unplaced in the Grand National the year before. 21 of the last 23 winners had fallen or unseated no more than twice in their careers.
The betting on the Grand National always picks up pace in the weeks building up to the big day, but the Saturday itself, when the once-a-year punters hit the high streets, is when the betting market really kicks into gear. It’s also worth noting that the weights for the Grand National are issued well in advance (normally in February each year), so this can also impact the ante post Grand National betting. Seven of the last 30 runnings have been won by the favourite (23%), while 18 of the last 30 (60%) market leaders finished in the top four places). Remember, just two of the past winners or placed horses from the previous year’s race has won for 35 years. The last horse to win back-to-back Nationals had been Red Rum in 1974. But after 2018 & 2019, Tiger Roll now also has that achievement on his racing record.
This Grand National trend can be taken a bit further when you actually drill down into recent runnings. In fact, most winners in recent years started in the first eight of the Grand National betting market – indicating that despite Noble Yeats popping-up at 50/1 in 2022, punters generally tend to get this race right.
Probably the biggest trend in recent years, and a really easy way to whittle the 40 strong field down in one easy swoop is just checking how many days ago your fancy last ran. The majority of the recent Grand National winners had their previous race no more than 48 days prior to the big day. If you want to drill this trend down a bit further, you’ll notice a large number of recent Grand National winners actually raced less than 40 days prior to landing the greatest steeplechase in the world. 29 of the last 30 winners ran no more than 55 days ago, while 24 of the last 30 raced no more than 34 days ago.
Another stat that often gets wheeled out relates to how poorly horses perform in the Grand National if they are heading to Aintree off the back of a win at March’s Cheltenham Festival. In fact, only four horses that won at the Cheltenham Festival that same season have gone on to win the Grand National since 1961. The 2023 Grand National was one of the few times when this particular trend failed to hold true, as Corach Rambler successfully followed up victory in the Ultima Handicap Chase by winning at Aintree.
Aintree Grand National Winner Trends
31/32 – Officially rated 137 or higher
30/32 – Ran no more than 55 days ago
28/32 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
27/32 – Had won no more than 6 times over fences before
25/32 – Returned a double-figure price
25/32 – Aged 9 or older
25/32 – Ran no more than 34 days ago
25/32 – Carried 10-13 or less
22/32 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
21/32 – Aged 10 years-old or younger
19/32 – Had won between 4-6 times over fences before
20/32 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
19/32 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
18/32 – Carried 10-8 or less
18/32 – Placed favourites
16/32 – Aged 9 or 10 years-old
13/32 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
13/32 – Trained in Ireland
7/32 – Ran in a previous Grand National
8/32 – Won last time out
7/32 – Won by the favourite or joint-favourite
1/32 – Won by a horse aged 7 years-old or less
20 Year Aintree Grand National Trends
17/20 – Had won over at least 3m previously
17/20 – Ran less than 50 days ago
18/20 – Officially rated 137 or higher
15/20 – Won by a horse aged 9 or older
12/20 – Winner from the top 8 in the betting
12/20 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
10/20 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
9/20 – Won by horses aged in double-figures
8/20 – Experienced the National fences before
7/20 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
6/20 – Won their last race
5/20 – Won by a horse aged 10 years-old
5/20 – Winning favourites (2 joint)
Recent Grand National Winners
2023 – Corach Rambler (8/1 fav)
2022 – Noble Yeats (50/1)
2021 – Minella Times (11/1)
2019 – Tiger Roll (4/1 fav)
2018 – Tiger Roll (10/1)
2017 – One For Arthur (14/1)
2016 – Rule The World 33/1
2015 – Many Clouds 25/1
2014 – Pineau De Re 25/1
2013 – Auroras Encore 66/1
2012 – Neptune Collonges 33/1
2011 – Ballabriggs 14/1
2010 – Don’t Push It 10/1jfav
2009 – Mon Mome 100/1
2008 – Comply or Die 7/1 jfav
2007 – Silver Birch 33/1
2006 – Numbersixvalverde 11/1
2005 – Hedgehunter 7/1 fav
2004 – Amberleigh House 16/1
2003 – Monty’s Pass 16/1
2002 – Bindaree 20/1
2001 – Red Marauder 33/1
2000 – Papillon 10/1
1999 – Bobbyjo 10/1
1998 – Earth Summit 7/1 fav
1997 – Lord Gyllene 14/1
1996 – Rough Quest 7/1 fav
1995 – Royal Athlete 40/1
1994 – Miinnehoma 16/1
1993 – VOID RACE
1992 – Party Politics 14/1
1991 – Seagram 12/1
1990 – Mr Frisk 16/1