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24th May 2024

2022 Grand National Trial Tips and Trends

The Grade Three Grand National Trial Chase is staged at Haydock racecourse each year and provides racing fans with further clues ahead of the Grand National.

That said, the race is all but a trial in name as since 1980 we’ve not seen a winner of the Unibet Grand National Trial follow-up that season in the Aintree marathon - Suny Bay, the 1997 winner, did go onto finish second at Liverpool in the National. The 2005 winner, Forest Gunner, went onto run a respectable fifth, while in 2017 we saw the David Pipe-trained Vieux Lion Rouge win this trial before going onto finished a respectable sixth in the Grand National a few months later.

In 2019, we saw the Colin Tizzard-trained Robinsfirth win the race to give the yard their first success in the race, while in 2020 the Alex Hales-trained Smooth Stepper caused a slight shock to win the race at 33/1, with the 2018 winner – Yala Enki – back in third as the beaten favourite. While 12 months ago - in 2021 - the Richard Hobson-trained Lord Du Mesnil, who was runner-up in 2020, went one place better.

Here at TQ we look back at recent winners and gives you the key stats to take in the 2022 renewal – this year set to be run on Saturday February 19th.


Recent Haydock Grand National Trial Winners

2021 - LORD DU MESNIL (8/1)
2020 – SMOOTH STEPPER (33/1)
2019 – ROBINSFIRTH (8/1)
2018 - YALA ENKI (8/1)
2017 – VIEUX LION ROUGE (8/1)
2016 – BISHOPS ROAD (13/2)
2015 – LIE FORRIT (8/1)
2013 – WELL REFRESHED (9/2 fav)
2012 – GILES CROSS (4/1 fav)
2011 – SILVER BY NATURE (10/1)
2010 – SILVER BY NATURE (7/1)
2009 – RAMBLING MINSTER (18/1)
2008 – MIKO DE BEAUCHENE (17/2)
2007 – HELTORNIC (12/1)
2006 – OSSMOSES (14/1)
2005 – FOREST GUNNER (12/1)
2004 – JURANCON II (10/1)
2003 -  SHOTGUN WILLY (10/1)

Haydock Grand National Trial Betting Trends

19/19 – UK-based trained winners
19/19 – Had won between 2-4 times over fences (rules) before
17/19 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
15/19 – Had won just 2 or 3 times over fences (rules) before
15/19 – Aged 10 or younger
15/19 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
15/19 – Rated 135 or higher
14/19 – Finished in the top three last time out
13/19 – Aged 9 or younger
13/19 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
12/19 – Finished in the top two last time out
11/19 – Carried 11-0 or less
10/19 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
9/19 – Unplaced favourites
8/19 – Won last time out
8/19 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Grand National (all unplaced)
7/19 – Irish-bred winners
5/19 – Ran in the Welsh Grand National last time out
4/19 – Winners that won by exactly 15 lengths
3/19 – Won with 11-12 in weight
3/19 – Finished 1st or 2nd in the Welsh Grand National last time out
3/19 – Trained by Lucinda Russell
2/19 – Winning favourites
2/19 – Trained by Venetia Williams
5 of the last 7 winners returned 8/1 in the betting
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 11/1

TQ VERDICT: With the popular grey, Bristol De Mai in the race then this means most of the others will get a chance to race with less than 11st. Only last year’s winner - Lord Du Mesnil - and the consistent Sam Brown will carry 11st+. Bristol De Mai, as we know, loves it here at Haydock and over the years has won here five times. The heavy ground is fine too and a recent close second at Lingfield showed he’s still loving his racing at 11 years-old. His handicap mark of 159 makes him dangerous as he was rated 170 just a few years ago, but the worry would be that he’s only won the once from his last 11 races. Lord Du Mesnil is only a pound higher than when winning this 12 months ago, but since then has struggled to find his form. Sam Brown rarely runs a bad race and a recent second in the Peter Marsh Chase here was another solid effort - he’s now run here twice and won and been second. The betting suggests they’ve all got the former Welsh National winner - Secret Reprieve - to beat, and with just 10-5 he’s got a featherweight. He’ll be better for a run over Christmas in the Welsh National (5th), but he doesn’t look great value for a horse that was beaten 44 lengths last time. Enqarde has to be considered too after a good 10 length win here in December, but is up 9lbs here. I think another of the old-timers - BLAKLION - can go well too. He’s returned to form the last twice to win both times here, will love conditions and despite being up another 9lbs here (rated 145) is still fairly well treated on his old form - rated as high as 161. Mint Condition is another course winner in the line-up, but the other of interest is recent Lingfield scorer - THE GALLOPING BEAR (e/w). He stayed the 3m5f trip in heavy ground well last time and is up just 5lbs. He also won that last race with 11-12 on his back, so with only 10-7 here this will help. He’s also 3-from-3 over fences at the moment so whereas he lacks experience, he’s also got the scope for more improvement.