2022 Grand National Betting Trends and Tips - The Randox Health Grand National is simply the biggest and most famous horse race in the world. Run at Aintree racecourse each year in early April the gruelling contest is run over a trip of 4 1/2 miles with the first ever winner being the appropriately-named Lottery.
With 40 runners to go through one popular angle on whittling down the field is to use some key trends - apply these to the 2022 Grand National runners and you'll at least build up a profile of the type of horse it takes to win the Liverpool marathon.
Did you know that since 1978 only two horses have won carrying more than 11-5 in weight, while the last 7 year-old to win the race was in 1940?!
Here at TQ we look back at past winners and highlights the key betting trends ahead of the 2022 Aintree Grand National - this year run on Saturday 9th April - and sponsored by Randox Health.
Ok, 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 Grand National winner by following a few simple tips and trends.
Positive Grand National Pointers……………….
- Horses that had won or finished placed in a National race of any description
- 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 (won 4 of the last 6)
- 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 3miles in the past is virtual ‘must-have’
Negative Grand National Pointers…………………
- Horses aged 13 or older don’t have a great Grand National winning record – you have to go back to 1923!
- 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
- Horses that had last raced over 56 days ago often don’t run well
- Runners that had hard races at the Cheltenham Festival, run the previous month, don’t fare well, although Tiger Roll kicked this trend into touch again in 2019.
Weight Watchers: 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 – 23 of the last 30 winners carried 10-12 or less! Tiger Roll won with 10st 13lbs in 2019, but defied the weight stat to win with 11st 5lbs in 2019.
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? 27 of the last 30 winners had won over 3m+ in the past, but it's worth noting that last year's winner - Minella Times - had only won over 2m6f before heading to National glory.
Age Concern: Experience is a vital attribute when looking back at past Grand National winners with horses aged 9 years-old or OLDER certainly the ones to focus on. You have 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 - 25 of the last 30 winners were aged 9 or older, but it is worth pointing out 4 of the last 6 winners were 8 year-olds, suggesting there might be a bit of a turning point in this age stat.
Luck Of The Irish: 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. 7 of the last 16 winners came from Irish-based stables, including 4 of the last 5.
Fencing Master: 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. Backed-up again in 2019 with Tiger Roll, who also won in 2018 and experienced the fences, winning again.
Who’s Your Favourite: The betting on the Grand National always picks up pace in the weeks building up to the big day, but on the Saturday itself, when the once-a-year punters hit the high streets, this 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 (February each year), so with some horses often running well after they’ve been given their allocated weight and before the race then this can also impact the ante post Grand National betting. 6 of the last 30 runnings have been won by the favourite (20%), while 16 of the last 30 (53%) market leaders were placed (top 4 finish)!
Market Toppers: We’ve already talked about the actual favourite, but 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 the Venetia Williams-trained, Mon Mome, popping-up at 100/1 in 2009, that punters generally tend to get this race right. 11 of the last 18 winners came from the top 8 in the betting market – backed up in 2018 with Tiger Roll winning at 10/1 (joint second favourite), plus again in 2019 with Tiger Roll winning as the 4/1 favourite. While the 2021 winner - Minella Times - was 11/1 and another in the top 8 in the betting.
Fitness First: 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 check 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. While if you want to drill this trend down a bit further than you’ll notice that a large amount of recent winners of the Grand National actually raced less than 40 days prior to landing the greatest steeplechase in the world. 28 of the last 30 winners ran no more than 55 days ago, while 23 of the last 30 raced no more than 34 days ago! That said, 12 months ago, Minella Times, did defy this trend after winning the National off a 62-day break.
Recent Grand National Winners
2021 - Minella Times (11/1)
2020 - Cancelled (Covid)
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
Aintree Grand National Trends (Last 30 Runnings)
- · 29/30 – Officially rated 137 or higher
- · 28/30 – Ran no more than 55 days ago
- · 27/30 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
- · 26/30 – Had won no more than 6 times over fences before
- · 24/30 – Aged 9 or older
- · 24/30 – Returned a double-figure price
- · 23/30 – Ran no more than 34 days ago
- · 23/30 – Carried 10-13 OR LESS
- · 22/30 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
- · 19/30 – Had won between 4-6 times over fences before
- · 19/30 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
- · 19/30 - Aged 10 years-old or younger
- · 17/30 – Carried 10-8 OR LESS
- · 17/30 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
- · 16/30 – Placed favourites
- · 15/30 – Aged 9 or 10 years-old
- · 11/30 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
- · 11/30 – Trained in Ireland (inc 8 of the last 15 years)
- · 7/30 – Ran in a previous Grand National
- · 7/30 – Won last time out
- · 6/30 – Won by the favourite or joint favourite
- . 3/30 – Trained by Gordon Elliott
- · 2/30 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
- · 2/30 – Ridden by Davy Russell (2 of the last 3)
- · 0/30 – Won by a horse aged 7 years-old OR LESS
Aintree Grand National Facts
- Since 1978, 128 horses have tried to win with more than 11-5 – with just two winners – Many Clouds (11-9) in 2015 & Neptune Collonges (11-6) in 2012
- 17 of the last 22 winners were bred in Ireland
- Only 3 horse that won at the Cheltenham Festival that same season has won since 1961
- The last 7 year-old or younger to win was back in 1940
- 13 of the last 24 winners had won or been placed in a National-type race before
- No horse aged 13 or older has won since 1923 or placed since 1969
- 3 of the last 12 winners ran in the Scottish National the previous season
- 10 of the last 18 winners had run over hurdles at some stage earlier in the season
- 5 of the last 19 winners had been unplaced in the National last year
- Only five 8 year-olds have won the last 26 renewals
- Just two past winners or placed horse from the previous year’s race has won for 35 years (77 have attempted)
- 22 of the last 24 winners had fallen or unseated no more than twice in their careers
- Just two back-to-back winners since 1974 Red Rum (1974) and Tiger Roll (2019)
Aintree Grand National Betting Trends (18 Year)
16/18 – Had won over at least 3m previously
15/18 – Ran less than 50 days ago
16/18 – Officially rated 137 or higher
14/18 – Won by a horse aged 9 or older
11/18 – Winners from the top 8 in the betting
11/18 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
9/18 – Won by horses aged in double-figures
8/18 – Experienced the National fences before
8/18 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
7/18 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
5/18 – Won by a horse aged 10 years-old
5/18 – Won their last race
4/18 – Winning favourites (2 joint)
3/18 – Won by the Gordon Elliott yard
2/18 – Won by the McCain yard
VERDICT: With many returning horses from last year back for more - most notably the 2021 Grand National winner - Minella Times. Jockey Rachael Blackmore rode him to win and, in the process, became the first lady winning rider of the National and she’s back for more on him.
However, Minella Times is now rated 15lbs higher and whereas last year only had 10-3lbs to carry has a much-bigger 11st 10lbs this time! He’s still young at 9, but it would be a big ask as he only won by 6 ½ lengths, if he’s going to follow in the hoof-prints of Tiger Roll and Red Rum as back-to-back winners of this race.
Any Second Now was third last year and is back on a 7lb higher mark, while Burrows Saint (4) is also returning but gets in off the same mark - he’s got a chance for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend, but does have 6lbs more in racing weight this time.
Blaklion was 6th 12 months ago and is off the same mark of 145 - but he’s 13 now and the last horse of that age to win the National was in 1923.
Discorama is another back for more - he was 7th last year and is back on a pound lower rating.
Coko Beach and Noble Yeats are both 7 year-old and the last horse aged 7 to win the National was in 1940 - so let’s rule these two out.
Since 1978, 128 have tried to win with more than 11st 5lbs and only 2 have been successful - so based on this I’m also happy to put a line through the top seven horses on the card - Minella Times, Delta Work, who won the Cross Country Chase at the Festival last time, Easysland, Any Second Now, Run Wild Fred, Lostintranslation and Brahma Bull - who all have 11st 6lbs or more to carry.
These are the class acts in the race, but as a result have a lot of weight. Of that lot, Delta Work impressed in his Cross Country win last time when breaking the hearts of Tiger Roll fans, and looks the sort to enjoy these fences based on that. But you can’t get away from the 11st 9lbs in weight he’s got to burden.
Cloth Cap could be the forgotten horse - he was actually sent off the 11/2 favourite for this only last year, but was eventually pulled up before 3 out. They said he made a breathing noise that day and have since had his wind operated on. He’s back on a pound lower rating, but the worry is that he’s had four runs since that wind op and is yet to finish in the frame. On a plus, his connections (Jonjo O’Neill) are reporting him in good order - not without a squeak but comes with a bit to prove.
Escaria Ten ticks a lot of the main trends and has to be a leading player after a close second in the Bobbyjo Chase last time at Fairyhouse at the end of Feb. He was beaten just a nose in that to Any Second Now. He’s run well over 3m6f in the past so on paper the trip looks fine, but this is another 4 furlongs and I still feel the just is out on the trip. Add in that the form of the Gordon Elliot yard isn’t great then he’s overlooked.
With 15 of the last 18 winners having raced within the last 50 days, this is a negative for a air few too - Minella Times, De Rasher Counter, Discorama, Enjoy D’allen, Freewheelin Dylan, Mighty Thunder, Snow Leopardess & Deise Aba.
Of that bunch, the grey mare - SNOW LEOPARDESS - will be looking to become the first ever grey mare to win the race. We’ve seen 13 past mares win the Grand National and three different greys, but none that were grey mares!
She’s done little wrong this season - winning her last three, including the Becher Chase here in December so that experience of the fences is a plus. With just 10st 9lbs she’s got a lovely weight too and being that she likes to race up with the pace can stay out of trouble up top.
Amberleigh House (2004) and Silver Birch (2007) were the last two horses to win the National after taking the Becher Chase that same season. Yes, this longer trip is an unknown, but that applies to most of the field! Barring the stat that’s seen her run 55 days ago (just 5 days over), it’s hard to crab her chance - so she’s one for the shortlist.
Another that only just falls down on the ‘days last ran’ stat is ENJOY D’ALLEN, who was last seen at the start of Feb at Leopardstown. He was over hurdles that day and a lot of Grand National winners of late have preferred to stay over the smaller obstacles to protect their chase mark.
He was also a running on third in the Irish Grand National last year - so the trip here looks within range and regular jockey Connor Orr comes over to ride this JP McManus horse, wo will be looking to give his owner a third win in the race. With 10st 11lbs to carry this 8 year-old looks to have the perfect profile.
Of the rest, the other three to have onside are FIDDLERONTHEROOF, ÉCLAIR SURF and FORTESCUE.
Fiddlerontheroof is running in the race for the first time but looks the sort to take well to the fences. He’s yet to finish out of the first three (2 wins) from 10 runs over fences and ran a great race last time at Ascot (2nd) giving Fortescue 17lbs and only going down 1 ½ lengths - there is 12lbs between the two this time.
Éclair Surf got into the race as number 39 - but he looks to have a top chance too after running last week’s easy Scottish National winner - Win My Wings - to 1 ¾ lengths at Newcastle in the Eider Chase over 4m1f. The form is, of course, been franked, and staying this trip will be fine. He gets in with just 10st 6lbs to carry and even though this is his first try over the fences is a sound jumper.
Finally, the already mentioned Fortescue is worth a saver too with his light weight (10st 6lbs). He escapes a rise for his recent win at Ascot and gets in here off a mark of 143 again. The longer trip is a slight unknown, but is still only 8 and has now won 6 of his 14 starts over fences and been in the frame 11 times from those runs.