Grand National 2016

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Here’s our review and guide to ‘pinning the tale on the donkey’ for the weeks feature race…..we’ve looked at the past races and focussed on the trends the winners possessed over the last 20 years or so.

BetVictor have come up with their simplistic illustration below……who incidentally are paying 6 places on this years renewal…..just click the image below to take you through to your BetVictor account.

Read on below to check out our further profile of who the winner could be?


Stamina reserves and jumping ability are the two most crucial requirements in finding a National winner. Younger horses have a poor record in the race which is probably because they tend to have more speed than stamina.

We have to go back to 1940 to find a horse younger than 8 has won the Grand National, like wise older horses also tend to struggle in the Grand National as a horse needs to be in its prime to survive the tests of the race.

  • The average age of the last 20 winners is exactly 10, with six wins going to those aged nine, seven wins to those aged 10, and four victories achieved by 11-year-olds.
  • Horses in the 9-11 age bracket have won 85{70aeb3532cb26dbe277d25ea128ebb74de84b9bd22e1583b0eb1b73768e061f6} of the last 20 Nationals.
  • Nine of the last eleven winners were aged between nine and 11
  • Crucially however, no horse aged seven or 13 has won this gruelling contest since before the Second World War.
  • Look at primarily horses at 8 to 12 years old


Trainers run their Grand National hopes over hurdles to protect their chase handicap mark, should a horse run well in a chase early in the year then their handicap mark will be increased.

Since the war only seven Grand Nationals have been won by horses carrying more than 11st 5 lbs and two of those were by the incredible Red Rum!

Horses carrying more than 11 stone 6lbs have tended to struggle but with the recent changes to the race, maybe this will begin to change – concentrate on runners carrying under 11st 7 lbs.

  • The average weight carried by the last 20 winners is just below 10st 9lbs, but there has been such a wide spectrum of different winning weights in this time that it’s difficult to rule out any horse – until it comes to top weights that is.
  • Last year was the first time a winner had carried more than 11-6 since the great Red Rum, but that horse was a Grand National specialist, winning three times and finishing second twice between 1973 and 1977.
  • In addition to the poor record of top weights in the National, only five winners in the last 30 years (29 races) have carried more than 11 stone.
  • That means that almost 90{70aeb3532cb26dbe277d25ea128ebb74de84b9bd22e1583b0eb1b73768e061f6} of winners since 1984 have carried 11 stone or less.


  • Most recent Grand National winners ran off an official rating of between 136 and 160 with only Bobby Jo and Little Polvier winning from “out of the handicap” – bad horses simply don’t win.
  • Concentrate on those rated between 136 and 160 on the day of the race.


Horses who aren’t at peak fitness struggle and it’s pertinent to consider recent exertions at Cheltenham? Just three weeks after the Cheltenham Festival, many horses will have been trained to peak in time for Cheltenham, not Aintree.

This leaves them at a big disadvantage and if they have been in a tough race at the festival, that might not be enough time for them to recover.

In recent years Silver Birch (second in the Cross Country), Bindaree (sixth in the William Hill Chase) and Don’t Push It (pulled up in the Pertemps Final) have gone on to win the Grand National after racing at Cheltenham……however most have tried and failed!


Stamina is a critical ingredient for winning the Grand National. Every year we see very talented 2.5 milers that never seem to last home.

Gay Trip (1970) was the last Grand National winner who hadn’t previously won over at least three miles! The 2012 joint favourite Seabass had only won over 2m 6f and it looked like his stamina ran out in the final stages of the race.

If a horse hasn’t previously won over at least three miles then you are taking a big chance that its first long distance win will be the Grand National.

  • Concentrate on those with proven stamina – the 2012 winner Auroras Encore had confirmed his stamina by previously winning two chases over three miles or further and finishing a head second in the four mile Scottish National.


The most successful trainer to be based in England in recent years is the in-form Jonjo O’Neill who won yesterdays Topham. Saddling his first runner just 11 years ago, the popular handler has sent out a winner and six other horses to be placed since 2004.

  • The only multiple-winning trainer in the last 20 years is Nigel Twiston-Davies
  • With a win and three places to his name in recent years it looks at first glance that Paul Nicholls has an admirable Grand National record, but he has saddled no fewer than 56 runners with only four of those reaching the frame
  • Nicky Henderson hasn’t had a horse placed in the Grand National since Brown Windsor finished fourth 24 years ago – saddling 22 runners since without any reaching the frame, while a staggering 17 of them failed to complete the course (including seven first fence fallers).

Other facts to consider………

  • Need to have won over at least three miles
  • run in at least ten chases
  • won a chase worth at least £17,000
  • Nine of the last 15 winners were sent off at 16/1 or bigger
  • Eight of the last ten winners were Irish-bred
  • All of the last six winners were trained in England
  • Ten of the last 11 winners finished in the first five on their previous start
  • Seven-year-olds are a no-no. No horse younger than eight has won since 1940. Of the 30 to attempt the feat across the last eleven renewals not one has made the places.
  • 10 of the 15 Grand Nationals since the turn of the century have been won by a horse with a rider from the Emerald Isle aboard.
  • 30 – 65 days since the last appearance appears optimum
  • There’s been a distinct upturn in the class of National victors during the last five years. Seven of the last eleven winners were officially rated no higher than 144, however all but one of the last six have been rated 148 or higher
  • During the last 20 years the average starting price of a Grand National winner is 23.5/1, and with a wide open affair set to take place next Saturday then the 20/1 – 33/1 price range is ideal for those of us looking to back a few horses each-way.
  • A bit of a quirky statistic however is that since 1974 just six favourites/joint favourites have won the Grand National, and remarkably, five of those were priced at exactly 7/1.
  • Positives – Any horse priced in the 20/1 – 33/1 range

Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:

* Aged 9 to 11 (or 8yo that finished in first 5 in Hennessy Gold Cup)

* Carrying no more than 14lbs higher than bottom weight

* Officially rated 143 or higher (ideally rated 148+ at some point in career)

* Irish or French bred

* Respect horses sired by Old Vic

* Finished in first 3 on last completed start

* Posted an RPR of 146+ on last completed chase start

* Won no more than one chase this season

* Won a listed or graded chase worth 29K+

* Won over 3M+

* Run 3 to 6 times since September 2015 & run since 16th February 2016

* Run in at least 10 chases (winning at least 3)

* Posted career highest RPR in a chase over 3M+ (ideally at a left-handed track)

* Has posted an RPR of 147+ in a chase over 3M 2F+

* Has run over hurdles in 2016

* Finished in first 3 in a previous Welsh National

* Finished in first 9 in 2015 Scottish National

* Finished in first 5 in a previous Hennessy Gold Cup

* Finished in first 5 in Premier Chase or Pertemps Network H’cap Hurdle last time

Donkey Pinner’s Quick Guide…….

1. MANY CLOUDS (trainer: Oliver Sherwood,  Leighton Aspell)

Last year’s winner has a real chance of following up. In form, classy and only carrying 1lb more this time. History beckons…..could emulate Red Rum. 9 (out of 10)

2. SILVINIACO CONTI (Paul Nicholls, Noel Fehily)

High-class three-mile chaser at top level. Jumping and ability not in doubt, but didn’t stay in Gold Cup and stamina doubtful. 6

3. FIRST LIEUTENANT (Mouse Morris, Bryan Cooper)

Former top-class chaser, who was 16th in last year’s race. Pulled up last time and hard to see him doing better than 2015. 5

4. WONDERFUL CHARM (Paul Nicholls, Sam Twiston-Davies)

Finished third at the last two Aintree Festivals over Mildmay fences. Second on his only run this term. Might get round. 5

5. BALLYNAGOUR (David Pipe, Tom Scudamore)

Third and second in Betfred Bowl at Aintree and seventh last time at Cheltenham. Getting round is best hope. 5

6. O’FAOLAINS BOY (Rebecca Curtis, Brian Hughes)

Not built on RSA Chase win in 2014. Seventh in Gold Cup, but hard to see him doing any better in the National. 5

7. GILGAMBOA (Enda Bolger, Robbie Power)

Fifth in Irish Gold Cup and also at Cheltenham. Stamina not guaranteed and looks a bit inexperienced for the National. 4

8. ON HIS OWN (Willie Mullins, Mr Patrick Mullins)

Fell in both the 2012 and 2013 Nationals. Now a 12-year-old and hard to see him doing any better this time around. 4

9. THE DRUIDS NEPHEW (Neil Mulholland, Denis O’Regen)

Was running well in front when falling late on in last year’s National. Second to The Last Samuri last time. Decent chance. 7

10. TRIOLO D’ALENE (Nicky Henderson, Jeremiah McGrath)

Won Topham over National fences in 2013, but was pulled up in 2014 National. Has ability but stamina an issue. 5

11. ROCKY CREEK (Paul Nicholls, Andrew Thornton)

Good fifth in 2014 National, but only 17th last year. Pulled up back at Aintree in the Becher this season. Looks on the wane. 5

12. SIR DES CHAMPS (Willie Mullins, Nina Carberry)

Second in last year’s Gold Cup and won Punchestown version. Not in same form since, but could be interesting if he stays. 6

13. HOLYWELL (Jonjo O’Neill, Richie McLernon)

An interesting contender. Won at Aintree meeting before and a fine second at Cheltenham last time. Quirky but could go well. 7

14. SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR (Jonjo O’Neill, Barry Geraghty)

Irish National winner, who was a fine fifth at Aintree last year. Quiet prep this time and if his stamina holds out may get closer. 7

15. SOLL (David Pipe, Conor O’Farrell)

Seventh in 2013 and ninth in last year’s National. Completed in Topham and Becher as well. Will get round but down the field. 6

16. BUYWISE (Evan Williams, Paul Maloney)

Always stays on late to grab place money over shorter distances. If he stayed trip, could be interesting. But it’s a big if. 5

17. BOSTON BOB (Willie Mullins, Paul Townend)

Won Melling Chase two years ago and also landed Bobbyjo Chase last time. That’s a good guide for National and could go well. 5

18. AACHEN (Venetia Williams, Henry Brooke)

Veteran is a good jumper and stays. Last win at Cheltenham in December and probably better in the winter. Unlikely to feature. 4

19. MORNING ASSEMBLY (Pat Fahy, Davy Russell)

Some good novice form, beating Gold Cup winner Don Cossack in 2013. Good fourth at Cheltenham last time. May go well. 6

20. DOUBLE ROSS (Nigel Twiston-Davies, Ryan Hatch)

Effective over shorter in 2013-14 and and fifth over National fences in 2014 Topham. Little form up in trip recently. Stamina a real issue. 4

21. GOONYELLA (Jim Dreaper, Jonathan Burke)

Fine stayer and jumper. Won Midlands National and second in Scottish version last year. Has a chance of making the frame. 6

22. UCELLO CONTI (Gordon Elliott, Daryl Jacob)

Good efforts in three starts for Gordon Elliott. Third at Thyestes last time the best. Has ability but a bit inexperienced for National. 5

23. UNIONISTE (Paul Nicholls, Nick Scholfield)

Fell in race last year but related to 2013 Aintree hero Neptune Collonges. Second to Many Clouds last time. Could go well. 6

24. LE REVE (Lucy Wadham, Harry Skelton)

Third in bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last year and thrives at the Esher track. Could go well but may be a bit young to get close. 6

25. GALLANT OSCAR (Tony Martin, Mark Walsh)

Third at Cheltenham and first at Punchestown last year. Not in same form since and may not have what it takes for Aintree. 5

26. ONENIGHTINVIENNA (Philip Hobbs, Tom O’Brien)

Only four chase starts in his career, just one win. A decent novice but lacks experience and may be too much too soon. 4

27. THE LAST SAMURI (Kim Bailey, David Bass)

A young up-and-coming staying chaser with superb wins at Kempton and Doncaster behind him. Could be in the shake-up. 8

28. KRUZHLININ (Philip Hobbs, Richard Johnson)

Was 10th in last year’s National when trained by Donald McCain. Good win at Kempton in January and has place claims. 7

29. RULE THE WORLD (Mouse Morris, David Mullins)

Good second in last year’s Irish National but not won in two years. Could get round but may not trouble the main players. 6

30. JUST THE PAR (Paul Nicholls, Sean Bowen)

Won bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last year but pulled up over National fences in 2014 Becher. Not sure he’s right for National. 5

31. KATENKO (Venetia Williams, Will Kennedy)

Shown little form since 2013 and pulled up and way down field at Cheltenham on his two starts this year. Doesn’t hold any strong claims. 4

32. VICS CANVAS (Dermot McLoughlin, Robert Dunne)

Veteran who was second in bet365 Gold Cup and close fifth in Becher Chase over National fences in December. May complete but no more. 5

33. BLACK THUNDER (Paul Nicholls, Sam Waley-Cohen)

Decent novice in 2013, who beat Many Clouds at Haydock. Little form since and unseated rider in Welsh National. Unlikely to go well. 5

34. BALLYCASEY (Willie Mullins, Katie Walsh)

Brought down in last year’s National and fifth at Cheltenham last time best effort since. Even with more luck may not get round. 4

35 HADRIAN’S APPROACH (Nicky Henderson, Nico De Boinville)

Won bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in 2014, but injury problems since. Seventh on first start in over a year at Kempton. Unlikely to figure. 4

36. VIEUZ LION ROUGE (David Pipe, James Reveley)

Not a bad run in sixth in the four-miler at Cheltenham last time. But only six chase starts and just seven. Too inexperienced for National. 5

37. PENDRA (Charlie Longsdon, Aidan Coleman)

Finished 10th in Irish National in 2014. Has done okay since with one win at Ascot. But another who may be out of his depth at Aintree. 4

38. SAINT ARE (Tom George, Paddy Brennan)

Loves Aintree, superb second last year and has all the attributes for the National. Won his prep run and could easily go one better this time. 8

39. HOME FARM (Henry De Bromhead, Andrew Lynch)

Pulled up in Irish National in 2014 and also last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. No form of note in staying contests. Little chance. 4

40. THE ROMFORD PELE (Rebecca Curtis, Trevor Whelan)

Fell on last chase start in December and has very little in the way of jumping or stamina to think he could be a player. 4

Suggested bets…….paying 5 places ( 6 with Victor)….

MORNING ASSEMBLY has had past problems but had the class to beat Don Cossack in the not to distant past. He bounce back at the festival last month and looks nice value at around 25’s.

Jonjo is a proven ‘meister’ in this race and last years well fancied SHUTHEFRONTDOOR returns for another tilt after AP’s final National ride last year.  Despite a little lack lustre LTO, Jonjo  has geared the horse’s campaign towards Aintree again and he goes at 1lb less than last season. Barry Geraghty has an excellent record here winning on Monty’s Pass in 2003.

Just could it be a fairytale for Nina Carberry on the back of Ruby’s ill-fortune?…..2013 Punchestown Gold Cup winner, SIR DES CHAMPS has tumbled the weights and was Ruby’s pick that has been laid out for a go at this. He’s another in the 20’s that looks nice value, but an amazing 40’s with SkyBet!!!


Shutthefrontdoor 0.5 pt EW @ 20/1 with bet365 in the National

Sir Des Champs 0.5pt EW @ 40/1 with SkyBet in the National

Morning Assembly 0.5 pt EW @ 25/1 with BetVictor in the National


bet365 grand national offer 2016

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