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Grand National Trends To Look Out For Ahead Of The 2018 Meeting

The Grand National, which takes place annually at Aintree Racecourse in April, is the most famous steeplechase in the world. There is no more thrilling sight in the sport than seeing 40 national hunt horses tackle the big fences at the course. In preparation for the 2018 renewal of the 4m2f contest, here is a look at some important trends that will hopefully help you back the winner.


Andrew Humphrey via Twitter

No horse younger than eight years old has won the Grand National since 1940, while the last winner to be successful above the age of 12 was Sergeant Murphy in 1923. It is, therefore, wise to look for horses aged between 8 and 12. Over the last 20 years, the most common age winner has been nine-year-olds, who have been successful seven times in that period, including in 2016, when Rule The World was successful for Irish trainer Mouse Morris. Blaklion is the 10/1 favourite in the horse racing betting for the 2018 race and he will be nine when he lines up in April so it is easy to see why he is topping the ante-post market at this early stage.


Experience of running in the Grand National is not essential as six of the last seven winners of the race have won on their debuts, the only exception being 2014 champion Pineau De Re. This suggests horses who are relatively new to chasing can have success in this contest. Rather than looking for runners who have featured before over the bigger fences, it may pay to highlight those who have not fallen so far in their careers, as this indicates their jumping is sound.


Clive Buckenham via Twitter

One of the reasons as to why the Grand National has such a wide appeal is that it can often throw up a surprise result. If there is ever a race where you should not be afraid to back an outsider, this is it. Over the last seven years, five of the winners have been 25/1 or bigger. In 2009, Mon Mome upset the odds at 100/1 with Liam Treadwell on board for Venetia Williams, while, in 2013, Auroras Encore was 66/1 when he came home in front for northern trainer Sue Smith. This trend is likely to continue as it is a handicap race where each of the 40 runners is weighted to have an equal chance of being successful.


The best horses in the Grand National field are required to carry more weight. In February each year, the handicapper reveals the official ratings for the race, which is then used to determine exactly how much weight each horse will be assigned. The last horse to win the Grand National off the highest weight in the race was Red Rum in 1974, therefore, it goes to show how difficult it is when your runner is at the top end of the list. Recent results suggest horses that are in the middle of the weight list have the best chance of being successful.

The 2018 Grand National takes place on April 14; the best of luck if you are having a bet in the contest.

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