Grand National Racing Tip

I dealt with the Grand National last Sunday for full members and sent a long
preview with reasons why I felt CHARACTER BUILDING
had an outstanding chance and he is still my main selection.

He is about as fashionable as Drink Driving looking at all other opinions
but many recent winners were and if he can keep in contention for the
first circuit you never know and he still looks a very big price to
me at 33/1 so fingers crossed.

A copy of my analysis from last sunday is below.

AINTREE 4.15

John Smith´s Grand National Chase
(Handicap) Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (6yo+) 4m4f

* The Grand National has 17 renewals since 1992
* There are also 75 Handicaps in Febuary-March-April
* Thats 75 Handicap Chases over 3m 7f or more
* Thats 75 Handicap Chases with at least 12 runners
* Thats 75 Handicap Chases in Class 2 or Higher Grade
* This includes the last 17 Grand nationals
* It includes the Scottish , Irish and Midlands Nationals

ABSENCES

* It is very important to have a recent race
* The past 20 winners all ran within 7 weeks
* The last 20 winners were absent this many days
23 21 41 32 27 48 28 20 25 42 20 24 35 23 16 35 23 35 23 25
* What is also significant is the absence of the Runner Ups
* Horses 2nd in the National had the following days absence
* 49 25 27 21 22 22 100 35 23 63 345 28 16 44 18 42 21 23 23 102
* 16 of the past 20 Runners Ups also ran within 7 weeks
* There are over 120 English horses absent 7 + weeks
* None of these have won and I would avoid long absences

* BACKSTAGE has been absent since last July
* CALGARY BAY has been absent 70 days
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE has been absent 101 days
* STATE OF PLAY has been absent 304 days
* HELLO BUD has been absent 84 days
* Other horses that fail this include the following
* Majestic Concorde -  Or Noir De Somoza  – Dooneys Gate
* The Tother One- Nedzers Return – Grand Slam Hero
* Thats Rhythm – Frankie Figg – Our Monty – Starzaan
* Royal Rosa – Putney Bridge -  Imoncloudnine

HORSES AGED 7

* The last 7 year old winner of this race was back in 1940
* Horses aged 7 and unlikely to even complete the course
* QUINZ has to be eliminated aged 7
* QUINZ is not going to be 7 until May anyway
* He is no more than 6 years 11 months old
* I dont see how I can bet him given the record of 7yo’s
* Quolibet – Sagalyrique – Galant Nuit are out aged 7 as well

8 YEAR OLDS

* Only 2 of the last 26 winners were 8 year olds
* Horses aged 8 havent the best recent record
* If you bet an 8 year old make sure it is actually 8
* All recent 8yo winners were foaled early before the race
* Those foaled in Mid april and Beyond are not officially 8
* Bindaree – Party Politics – Corbiere are the last 8yo winners
* They were all foaled early the year they were born
* They were all aged 8 and a few months
* Red Rum also won aged 8 and he was a January Foal
* Horses foaled after the day of the race are not 8
* They are just 7 and a few months old
* WHAT A FRIEND is 8 and a May Foal
* He is technically still a 7 year old
* Other horses that fail this statistic are as follows
* Majestic Concorde – Our Monty – Belon Gale
* Junior – I’moncloudnine

HORSES AGED 13

* Horses aged 13 can also be opposed with confidence
* HELLO BUD fails that
* Especially when so lightly raced this season

PREPARATION (1)

* Exposed horses struggle with under 4 runs that season
* They have a 1-184 record in 75 Similar races
* The only winner was Grey Abbey – 2000 Scottish National
* I would demand at least 4 runs a year from exposed horses
* The Following Horses all fail this important statistic
* BALLABRIGS -  STATE OF PLAY -  HELLO BUD
* BACKSTAGE – CHIEF DAN GEORGE – SILVER BY NATURE
* NICHE MARKET – OSCAR TIME
* BLUESEA CRACKER – ARBOR SUPREME
* Other horses that fail this statistic are as follows
* Ballytrim -Faasel – Dev – Starzaan – Toby Jug
* Comply Or Die – Frankie Figg – Junior – Royal Rosa

PREPARATION (2)

* In the 75 similar races I looked at horses with 13 + runs
* These horses struggle badly with just 1-2 runs that season
* Whilst horses with 21 or more starts need 4 + runs that year
* Those with 13 or more runs need at least 3 + runs that year
* Those that did not have a 0-144 record
* Horses with 1-2 runs this season should be avoided
* The last 23 winners had the following runs that season
* 4 6 4 5 6 6 5 9 6 6 6 6 5 4 5 6 7 3 5 4 6 7 6

* The Following Horses all fail this important statistic
* THE MIDNIGHT CLUB who is favourite for the race
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE fancied as well
* Also failing this statistic are the following
* Our Monty – Majestic Concorde – Dooneys Gate
* Roll Along – Ornais – Surface To Air – Faasel
* Dev – Toby Jug- Gallant Nuit – Treacle

* Seasonal Debutants should be avoided
* BACKSTAGE hasnt run this year under rules
* Our Monty – Starzaan also have that against them

PREPARATION (3)

* Horses coming from a small field struggled
* Horses from races with under 9 runners were 0-104
* Not a strong statistic but worth bearing in mind
* BALLABRIGGS fails that
* THE TOTHER ONE also fails that
* Northern Alliance – Always Waining also fails that
* Skippers Brig

CLASS

* Class is very important in a National Winner
* The last 10 winners all won in at least Listed Grade before
* The last 20 winners had all ran in Graded Class Before
* The vasy majority of the runner ups also did this
* The only ones that did not were very lightly raced
* All exposed horses must have Graded Form
* In15 years no exposed horse won without Grade 1 form
* I would not want a horse without Graded Class form
* BALLABRIGGS fails that
* He’s now exposed and has no form in Listed or Graded races
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE has no Graded Form
* Other horses that fail this statistic are as follows
* Dooneys Gate – Nezders Return – Surface To Air
* Our Monty -Belon Gale – Grand Slam Hero – Putney Bridge

WEIGHT

* I think we should ignore the weight statistics
* Last years winner won with 11st 5lbs
* Horses with 11st 6lbs have struggled overall
* Only Red Rum had won with more weight in recent years
* I would not get too hung up with weight though
* Red Rum won with 11st 8lbs and again with 12st
* Corbiere won with 11st 4lbs and Grittar with 11st 5lbs
* L’Escargot won with 11st 3lbs and Gay Trip with 11st 5lbs
* Horses with 11st 5lbs or more won in 1965 1957 1954 1050
* The Precedents are there are last years winner showed that
* I wont be ruling any horse out on their weight

WINS THAT SEASON

* You dont want a horse with 2 or more wins that season
* Past Winners had the following number of wins that year
* 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 3 1 1 1 0
* Only 1997 winner Lord Gyliene won more than once that year
* BALLABRIGGS fails this statistic
* QUINZ fails that as well
* WEST END ROCKER fails that
* Other horses that fail this statistic are as follows
* Midnight Chase – King Fontaine – Golden Kite
* Skippers Brig – Putney Bridge – Sagalyrique

CHASING EXPERIENCE

* Chasing Experience is of obvious importance
* The previous 20 winners had the following Chase runs
* 12 24 14 13 10 11 37 41 14 12 24 17 25 10 23 16 9 14 28 14
* Least Experienced Chaser was Miinnehoma in 1994
* He had 9 Chase runs and two more had 10 Chase starts
* Horses with Under 9 Chase runs are unlike any past winner
* I looked at the Chase runs of the last 20 Runner Ups
* 24 18 11 13 15 23 14 20 10 11 9 19 14 9 8 24 32 22 8
* I would be wary of any horses with under 10 Chase starts
* The following horses had under 10 Chase Starts
* THE MIDNIGHT CLUB is favourite with 8 Chase starts
* Thats only really 7 Chases as he had one early fall
* THE TOTHER ONE only has 9 Chase starts
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE has only had 7 Chase starts
* QUINZ has only had 7 Chase starts
* Other horses with fewer Chase runs than ideal are:
* Synchronised – Majestic Concorde – Nezders Return
* King Fontaine – Ornais – Surface To Air -Our Monty
* Skippers Brig – Giles Cross – Starzaan-Gallant Nuit -Junior

JUMPING ABILITY

* You want a decent Jumper of course
* The last 11 winners had not fallen more than twice before
* I wouldnt rule a horse out on this statistic
* It is something to bear in Mind
* BIG FELLA THANKS fell or unseated in 3 of 15 chases
* SILVER BY NATURE has fallen in 3 of 14 chase starts
* NOTRE PERE has fallen 3 times before
* ARBOR SUPREME  has fallen 3 times before
* The following horses fail this as well
* Quolibet – Frankie Figg – The Sawyer – Pomme Tiepy

CURRENT FORM

* You want a horse that was 1-2-3 in at least one of the last 6 runs
* Horse that havent done that score badly in all similar races
* COMPLY OR DIE has not managed that in 6 runs
* ROLL ALONG also fails that

STEPPING UP IN DISTANCE

* The record of horses from 2m 4f or shorter is awful
* This is worse when its a Chase over 2m 4f or shorter
* No exposed horse won from a 2m 6f Chase or shorter
* The following horses have this to overcome
* BIG FELLA THANKS has to come from 2m 4f
* NICHE MARKET also comes up in distance
* Or Noir De Somoza – Dooneys Gate – Scotsirish
* Northern Alliance – In Compliance – Santa’s Son
* Askthemaster – Dev – Starzaan – Duers – Treacle

STAMINA

* Every winner since 1970 had won over at least 3m
* The following horses have this to overcome
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE hasnt won at 3m yet
* The following also fail this statistic
* Or Noir De Somoza – Scotsirish -  Nezders Return
* Quolibet – In Compliance – Santa’s Son – Piraya
* Faasel – Putney Bridge -  Askthemaster -Dev
* Starzaan  – Duers

HANDICAP CHASE FORM

* Recent winners had ran in the following Handicap Chases
*  5 21 8 8 6 6 24 33 7 12 14 12 15 7 16 7 4 7
* Every recent winner has ran in at least 4 Handicap Chases
* Horses running in 5-12 Handicap Chases did well
* They won 12 of the last 18 renewals
* I would like to see at least 4 previous Handicap Chase runs
* THE MIDNIGHT CLUB is favourite
* He has only ran in 2 Handicap Chases before
* WHAT A FRIEND has only ran in 1 handicap chase
* TIDAL BAY has raced in just 2 handicap chases
* OSCAR TIME has raced in just 3 handicap chases
* BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE has just 1 handicap chase runs
* The following horses also fail this
* Synchronised – Majestic Concorde – Or Noir De Somoza
* Scotsirish – Quolibet – Roll Along – Ornais – Junior
* Our Monty – Surface To Air – Starzaan – Toby Jug

O T H E R   A N G L E S

* Number of Handicap Chases won
* Recent winners had won the following Handicap Chases
* 1 2 1 3 3 2 3 6 0 4 4 5 4 3 3 1 1 2
* No past winner had won more than 6 Handicap Chases

* The last 18 winners had between 3 and 7 Chase wins before
* They had  4 3 5 4 3 3 5 7 3 5 6 5 7 3 5 6 4 5 Chase wins

C O N C L U S I O N

Whilst he is progressive THE MIDNIGHT CLUB has plenty
to prove as favourite when lightly raced and having just two runs
this year and at the price I am against him especially as he has just
two runs in Handicap Chases losing both. Others I dislike at the head
of the market as I see their preparation as wrong include
WHAT A FRIEND – STATE OF PLAY – BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE -
NICHE MARKET – QUINZ – HELLO BUD – ARBOR SUPREME -
BALLABRIGGS.
I’m against MERIGO as he doesnt look about to win and there must be a big form and fitness question.

POSSIBLES

OSCAR TIME doesnt offer enough given his price as He is
failing one of the strong stats. BACKSTAGE is technically
wrong with an absence but there is a temptation to ignore
that as he is Irish and has been Point To Pointing and that counts for something.
There will be a serious stamina doubt with him but you can argue he comes
from the same sire as Mon Mome the 2009 winner. I shouldnt select him
but he’s one of those that could win and it wouldnt shock me.
I dont  agree with people who say BIG FELLA THANKS does not stay.
He has been 4th and 6th in the last 2 Nationals.
Once when Under 7 years old and again when under 8 years old  and in
Neither race was he remotely equipped to win this race failing several angles
and his two performances in the race were remarkable. I really dont like the
fact he comes from 2m 4f but he does have a chance in this race.
Given a weight of 11st 10lbs DONT PUSH IT is bound to fail a weight statistic
but thats all he does fail and having won this last season and having promised
myself not to worry about the weight too much I think he is shortlistable much
as he has a stiff mark and the last time he ran over fences was in this race last
year which I dont see as an advantage.

WEST END ROCKER has plenty on his side considering
he is a 50/1 chance but I prefer others. I think Mares are
quite interesting in this race but BLUESEA CRACKER is
exposed and only has 3 runs this season and that makes
her unlike any recent winners. SILVER BY NATURE is
a big danger. He has been very impressive and probably
underestimated by many but he isnt for me mainly down
to the likely ground and the fact he is short of runs this
season. I dont see VIC VENTURI winning with so much
weight at his age but he passes most of the better angles.
So to does KILLYGLEN much as he is complicated and
has only finished in 5 of his last 9 Chases a big worry. I
think TIDAL BAY has a good chance and I have backed
him as well. He has a great Aintree record and has never
fallen before. Throw in Bags of Class and 50/1 there are
worse bets and he could run very well for an old rogue.

PROVISIONAL SELECTION

CHARACTER BUILDING 33/1

Getting his profile out of the way first have a similar
type winning. In 2004 Amberleigh House won when
an exposed 11 year old with 5 runs that season. It’s
also interesting that Amberleigh House had his prep
run in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster and thats
where CHARACTER BUILDING last ran. There is
a similar profile there and enough to be confident in
CHARACTER BUILDING that he is the right type.

CHARACTER BUILDING came 7th in the 2010
race beaten 37 lengths. That does not worry me for
several reasons. He simply was not fit. He had won
at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival. He ran just twice
in the next 15 Months and by the 2010 National
he had only had 2 runs that season which is simply
not enough for a horse like him. He went there as
unfit and underprepared and out of form. There is
more to his run than meets the eye. He jumped all
the way round. This is a horse who has never fallen
in his life before and that counts for plenty. In last
years race he proved he handled the track. He was
mid division most of the way. Some will say that
he is unable to lay up close to the front but I have
to answer that by stating he was out of form last
year and underraced that season and he wasnt fit.

I watched the video of last years Grand National.
When DON’T PUSH IT jumped the penultimate
fence in front CHARACTER BUILDING was just
3 seconds behind him staying on overtaking quite
a few horses. He then faded but he was entitled to
as he was not fit and he blew up and came home in
7th place. In last years race he was a 16/1 chance.
This year He has a considerably better profile yet
is twice the price. This year he has 5 prep runs to
go to war with 3 more than last year. He also has
7lbs less weight this year which must help. He has
twice proven himself at this distance. He’s proved
he stays marathon trips before. He finished second
in the 4m National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in
1997 when having a poor profile and badly treated
at the weights. He should have placed in this race
last year had he been fit. I see enough stamina and
Class there. CHARACTER BUILDING’s trainer is
John Quinn who’s won with 3 of his last 5 runners
and has struck form this week which must help.

So many of this years rivals are underraced and do
not have enough runs this season. The previous 23
winners had these following runs that season

4 6 4 5 6 6 5 9 6 6 6 6 5 4 5 6 7 3 5 4 6 7 6

CHARACTER BUILDING fits that like a Glove as
he has 5 runs. We know all past winners had under
7 wins in Handicap Chases and he does that as well.
Its also very interesting the last 18 winners of this
had 4 3 5 4 3 3 5 7 3 5 6 5 7 3 5 6 4 5 chase wins
and CHARACTER BUILDING fits in well with 3.
I can not find a better option and he looks the one

33/1 and 5 places at Bet365 and Stan James
VC offer 6 places but are currently 25/1

Guy Ward

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Guy Ward is one of the uk’s hardest working horse racing analysts.

Find out more about at service at this link Horse Racing Tips

Dutching On The Grand National

It is the day we have all been waiting for where 40 runners compete to win the John Smith Grand National at Aintree.

As always this race is a minefield when trying to find the winner and with 40 declared runners you could easily spend a whole day trying to analyse the race. We need to start by using trends in order to narrow down the field a bit to find runners which we want to look at more closely.

First of all I am going to star by removing any runner which has not won over 3 miles or longer before. No horse has bucked this trend since 1970 as stamina is a key ingredient in the race. This removes In Compliance, Majestic Concorde, Or Noir De Somoza, Piraya, Quolibet and Santa’s Son. That leaves us with 34 runners which we still need to trim down some what.

Next we are going to remove runners who have not won a Class 1 race, never run on Hurdles at Aintree and have fallen more than twice in their career when running Hurdles races on any course.

This leaves us with Tidal Bay, The Tother One, Royal Rosa, Quinz, Don’t Push It and Chief Dan George.  Six runners is much easier to deal with than 34. We are now going to take a look at these six. This doesn’t mean that these are our final six as we may bring some of the others back into the running later  but first we want to remove any runners we don’t like from these six.

Tidal Bay likes the going and race type and is a good performers. While he hasn’t been improving recently he also has not been in decline and he has every chance of taking home a position today if he runs to his best.

The Tother One is likely to find todays race just a bit too difficult. Without improving significantly there are other runners who are going to prefer the conditions.

Royal Rosa looks severely outclassed in this race. There has been no significant improvement over the last four races and being able to maintain the speed necessary over the distance and hurdles of this race is going to be unlikely.

While taking a class jump in this race, Quinz has been showing a steady improvement in his performances. He loves the going and race type but there is concern over him placing 16th at Aintree in his last race. He is well weighted today though and if he can continue to improve there may well be a place position for him.

There has been a lot of discussion about Don’t Push It with A P McCoy saddled on him. He certainly has the class to win this race and he is known to like the distance, stamina should be no problem. He has been declining in performance slightly over the last three races but he has certainly been warming up to this race. He won last year and based on trends this gives a warning bell as repeat successes are very rare, although not impossible. He is certainly one that needs to be considered in the betting but the odds on others are likely to be more attractive.

Chief Dan George has been in steady decline recently and his last good performance was against a significantly lower class affair. Aintree is not his favourite track and I think he may struggle in todays race.

From these runners we have Tidal Bay, Quinz and Don’t Push It as potential contenders. As we know the top eight in the market are strong runners and we are missing a number of them out and so we shall take a look at them now.

The Midnight Club has been going from strength to strength recently and certainly has the class to compete. Todays race type is a clear favourite for this runner the preference is for softer going though which may be a slight concern but there is definitely contender potential here.

Oscar Time has only ever won 1 hurdles race and that was in 2008 for an 8k purse. Of course he won the Cheltenham Cup just a few weeks ago and coming on to race here is a tough call. He finished 3rd next to The Midnight Club in the prep race at Fairyhouse though. The Grand National has been the sole aim of trainer M M Lynch this season and that suggests that he will go well although his early pace could prevent him from making the distance. Going well over three and a half miles indicates good things but the extra mile is a long distance. Certainly a runner with potential.

What A Friend loves the going, distance and track. All things in his favour and is another runner that is hard to ignore. Backstage on the other hand is popular because of his Point-to-Point victory recently. However I would like to see him improve more before placing money on him in this race.

Silver By Nature and Ballabriggs are the last two to look at in the market leaders. Silver By Nature has been racing at a steady level for a while but I think he lacks some of the class necessary in this race. However his excellent weighting my well make up for this and I expect him to run a big race. Ballabriggs has won 5 out of 7 races since 2009 but the class level of those races has not been high. He is definitely rapidly improving but has he got enough improvement in him to win the Grand National? It is certainly possible.

As you would expect most of the market leaders represent some chance in the race, this is part of what makes this the hardest race of the year to analyse. Our shortlist of potentials includes:

Tidal Bay

Quinz

Don’t Push It

The Midnight Club

Oscar Time

What A Friend

Silver By Nature

Ballabriggs

A total of eight possible contenders, not bad from 40 runners. How do we bet them? There are so many markets on Betfair this year it gives us lots of potential. First of all note the 6TBP market which gives you six runners to place, there is even a 10TBP market where the odds are going to be lower but it could well be worth using in this ultra competitive race.

I think I would start for a dutch across all these runners, at the current odds this would give you just better than 1/1 should one of them come in which I think is pretty good going. I would consider a place bet in the 6TBP market for Tidal Bay, Silver By Nature, Quinz, What A Friend and Ballabriggs with a normal place bet on The Midnight Club and Oscar Time.

There is certainly going to be a lot of excitement in this years race and hopefully we can bring in some profit as well.

Michael Wilding

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Michael Wilding is owner of Race Advisor a well respected horse racing site that aims to teach and educate as well as provide tips.

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