As we head into the last day of the 2022 Aintree Grand National Meeting on Saturday 9th April 2022 we’ve five more LIVE ITV races to enjoy.
The Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle and The Doom Bar Maghall Novices’ Chase are always decent events, but really – it’s all about one race on the Saturday – the Randox Health Grand National.
As always here at TQ we've got all the key stats for the main LIVE ITV races – these will help build-up a better profile of horses that have done well in each race over the years.
SATURDAY, 9th April 2022 (ITV/Racing TV)
2.25pm – Betway Mersey Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 2m4f ITV
17/18 – Won by a horse aged 5 or older
15/18 – Raced 39 days or less ago
15/18 – Won by a horse aged either 5 or 6 years-old
13/18 – Priced 9/2 or shorter in the market
14/18 – Placed in the top three last time out
11/18 – Raced in the Supreme (4), Neptune (6) or County Hurdle (1) last time out
8/18 – Favourites to win (2 joint) (7 of the last 11 favs have won)
8/18 – Won their last race
4/18 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
2/18 – Trained by Willie Mullins
2/18 – Trained by Colin Tizzard (2 of the last 4)
2/18 – Won by the Nicky Henderson yard (inc two of last 10 runnings)
Ballymore Hurdle winners (Cheltenham Festival) are 4-from-4 since 1999
11 of the last 12 winners were placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd last time out
18 of the last 23 (78%) winners were either fav or 2nd fav
11 of the last 15 (73%) winners had won at least 3 times hurdles
14 of the last 22 (65%) winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival
15 of the last 24 (63%) winners finished 6th or better at the Cheltenham Festival that season
Willie Mullins, Colin Tizzard, Paul Nicholls or Nicky Henderson have won 10 of the last 17 (59%) runnings between them
7 of the last 11 runnings went to a 5 year-old
Only 1 winning 4 year-old in the last 25 years
Only 2 winning 7 year-olds in the last 32 years
9 of the last 11 winners returned 9/2 or shorter
Despite not winning this since 2012, the Nicky Henderson yard have a fair record in this race - and can get their first success since then with WALKING ON AIR. They’ve clearly taken their time with this 5 year-old, who was last seen bolting up at Newbury in January, but he missed Cheltenham to be fresh for this and has gone well fresh in the past so the 80 day break is fine. Only two career runs, so will have more improvement than most here. Course winner - North Lodge - was a close second at Kelso last time and has to be considered too, while Harbour Lake, Stage Star (if bouncing back from a poor run in the Ballymore) and Good Risk At All are all worthy runners too. But the main threat to the pick looks to be Three Stripe Life, who ran well to be second in the Ballymore last time out. Was only 3 ½ lengths behind Sir Gerhard that day and is the form pick of the race. But of those at bigger prices, COLONEL MUSTARD (e/w), can also go well. Third in the County Hurdle last time was a solid run and has only been out the top three once from 8 runs - the first-time hood is also on today for this consistent Irish raider.
3.00pm – Poundland Maghull Novices´ Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 2m ITV
18/18 – Won by a horse aged 8 or younger
18/18 – Winners from the first 3 in the market
18/18 – Priced 5/1 or shorter in the market
15/18 – Won by a horse aged 7 or younger
15/18 – Ran within the last 35 days
13/18 – Placed in the top three in their last race
12/18 – Ran in the Arkle Chase last time out
10/18 – Won by a horse aged 5 or 6 years-old
8/18 – Won their last race
8/18 – Favourites that won
5/18 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
4/18 – Irish-trained winners
3/18 – Won by the Nicky Henderson yard (inc 3 of last 10 runnings)
3/18 – Won by the Henry de Bromhead yard (inc 3 of the last 8 runnings)
Arkle Chase winners have a good record – 6-8 in the last 21 years and 4-from-4 since 2008
Since 1989 there have been just 4 Irish-trained winners – 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2019
Since 1999 trainer Paul Nicholls has had 7 winners and 7 runners-up
20 of the last 26 (77%) winners ran in the Arkle Chase that season
7 of the last 12 winners were French bred
10 of the last 13 winners have won at least 3 times over fences
Just 1 winner in the last 22 years finished unplaced last time out
Just 1 winner in the last 24 years returned 13/2 or bigger
No 9 year-old winner since 1973
It's hard to crab what Gentleman De Mee has done in recent runs - winning well at Thurles at Navan. He can go well, but the form pick here is EDWARDSTONE, who bolted up in the Arkle Chase last time out at Cheltenham. Horses that ran in that race often go well here in this contest and he’s also a past winner over hurdles. Regular jockey Tom Cannon rides and he can follow-up the yards win in this race in 2014 with Bolder Success. Third Time Lucki looks beat of the rest in a race that seems to lack depth.
3.35pm – JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle) (Grade 1) Cl1 3m110y ITV
15/17 – Priced 11/2 or less in the market
15/17 - Aged between 6-8 years-old
14/17 – Ran within the last 30 days
12/17 – Won or finished 2nd at this meeting previously
10/17 – Placed 4th or better in that season’s Stayers' Hurdle (Cheltenham)
12/17 – Placed 1st or 2nd in their last race
12/17 – Won by a horse aged 6 or 7 years-old
8/17 – Won their last race
9/17 – Favourites to win (6 odds-on)
6/17 – Raced in that season’s Cleeve Hurdle
4/17 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
2/17 – Trained by Alan King
2/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/17 – Irish-trained winners
14 of the last 17 (78%) winners raced at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
16 of the last 17 (94%) winners had won a Grade 1 or 2 before
13 of the last 17 (76%) had run at this meeting before
14 of the last 17 (82%) were favourite or second favourite
7 of the last 12 winners won a race at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
6 of the last 12 winners won the Stayers’ Hurdle (Cheltenham) before winning this and 5 from last 6 (since becoming a G1 race)
Previous winners of the race are currently 5-from-5
Horses rated 170+ are currently 6-from-7
No winner older than 9 years-old
It will be a shock it one of Champ, Thyme Hill or Flooring Porter are not taking this. The trio finished 1st, 2nd and 4th in the Stayers’ Hurdle last month at Cheltenham with Flooring Porter beating Thyme Hill by just under 3 lengths, with Champ back in fourth. A case can be made for all three again and we can expect Flooring Porter to make another bold bid from the front and he might be hard to peg back around here. However, Champ and Thyme Hill are both proven CD winners at the track and that counts for something. With that in mind, I’m going to take a chance on THYME HILL reversing the Stayers’ Hurdle form. I just feel this track will suit him better - he’s a strong travelling sort that will also be more at home on the slightly quicker ground. From 10 runs she’s hit the top two 8 times. Of the rest, Sire Du Berlais, had a claim as does Thomas Darby, but the first three in the betting should be playing this one out.
4.15pm – Betway Handicap Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 3m1f ITV
14/18 – Carried 11-1 or less in weight
16/18 – Had run within the last 35 days
13/18 – Won by a horse aged 8 or older
11/18 – Raced at the Cheltenham Festival last time out
10/18 – Priced 9/1 or bigger in the market
10/18 – Unplaced in their last race
4/18 – Won their last race
4/18 – Favourites that won
3/18 – Won by the Philip Hobbs yard (3 of the last 11)
2/18 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable
1/18 – Irish-trained winners
Only 3 of the last 22 winners were aged 10+
Only 4 winners carried more than 11st in the last 17 years
Just 1 Irish-trained winner in the last 44 runnings
9 of the last 11 (82%) winners were rated between 131 and 140
10 of the last 14 winners didn’t win earlier that season
7 of the last 9 winners had won over 3m before
Only 2 of the last 15 winners won last time out
Shan Blue, who would have won the Charlie Hall Chase earlier this season but for falling late on, will be all the rage here back into a handicap. He’ll be better for a recent run in the Ryanair Chase too and sets the standard. But also, doesn’t rate great value in a race with 17 other runners. Killer Kane has been doing well of late and is interesting, while Commodore and Oscar Elite are others with claims. But the Kim Bailey yard won this race 12 months ago and a chance is taken on their ESPOIR DE ROMAY (e/w). He ran the useful Nuts Well to 4l last month after 4 months off so will be better for that run and before that ran third to Fiddlerontheroof at Carlisle back in October. He acts well on the better ground and ran well at this meeting last season before falling in the Grade One Mildmay Novices’ Chase. The other pick CAP DU NORD (e/w), for the in-form Christian Williams yard. He was a good winner last Kempton last time of the Coral Trophy Chase and the form of that run has been franked since with the second - Kitty’s Light - running a good second in the Scottish National last week.
5.15pm – Randox Health Grand National Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) Cl1 4m3f110y ITV
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
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.