What Stats and Trends Do Grand National Winners Share?

It’s amazing that even for a horse race as chaotic and unpredictable as the Grand National, there are statistics, patterns and trends that can be used to try and identify the winner of the next edition.

There are often outliers, anomalies and variance when trying to predict sporting events using data, but the numbers often provide an excellent guide – anyone looking to identify the winner of the 2024 Grand National will certainly be interested in the trends detailed below.

Aged 7-9

Each of the last eight Grand National champions has been aged between seven and nine.

Corach Rambler, the 2023 winner, was nine at the time of his triumph, and he remains prominent in the Grand National betting this time around at odds of +1200 – he’ll have to be the first horse since 2014 to win aged ten or older.

The horse racing tips columns have been focusing their attention on two other horses – I Am Maximus and Vanillier. They’re aged eight and nine respectively, and so fit this particular pattern.

Weighty Issue

The Grand National is a handicap steeplechase, meaning that lead weights are added to the saddles of the horses in a bid to create a level-playing field – the faster the horse is perceived to be, the greater the weight that they carry.

The handicapper has done a decent job of analyzing the Grand National in recent years, with every single winner since Red Rum in 1977 carrying between 10st 3lb and 11st 6lb in weight.

This is quite a wide spread, admittedly, but it also means that the heaviest and lightest horses in the Grand National field can be struck from the list of potential winners – unless an outlier delivers a performance of some magnitude to upend the trend.

Rating Game

British horse racing uses a rating system to help grade horses, identifying their quality and ensuring that they are being entered into races that are suitable for their ability.

This same ratings system is also used in the handicapping process, but there can be outliers that fly under the radar – and it’s interesting that a particular ratings band has thrived at the Grand National.

In the past 15 editions, 13 have been won by a horse rated between 146-160. Now, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise because that is a spread only given to the finest racehorses – and, typically, it takes a fine racehorse to win such a challenging renewal.

But it does at least offer a statistical inference, albeit of a small sample: shock results are unlikely, based upon the ratings of the most recent champions.

Horses for Courses

The Grand National is a real slog – run over a distance of 4.2 miles, punctuated by some of the hardest jumps in racing, this is a truly energy-sapping test of strength and stamina.

As such, it won’t come as a surprise to learn that some kind of history in such challenging conditions has featured in the background of most Grand National winners.

As far as the last 15 editions are concerned, 14 of the winners had run over a distance of three miles or further at least five times in their career, with ten of that group winning at least twice over the trip.

So there you have it: if you can find a horse or two in the Grand National field that fits all of these criteria, you might just be on to a good thing.