2014 Grand National Stats

In just seven days time there’s going to be the thunder of hooves and the roar from the crowd as the Grand National race for it’s 175th race. And, I’m going to give you all the stats that you need to narrow down the field to find the horse with the best chance of winning.

It’s probably the most famous race in the world and definitely the most famous jumps race. Without doubt it causes controversy and in recent years that has led to making the course less dangerous for the horses.


It’s still one of the hardest races that exist and is run over a tear-jerking four and a half miles. As if that wasn’t enough, the competitors also have to contend with thirty fences!

Grand National Course Map


The image above shows you the course that the runners will be following at Aintree. They go round the track twice before finishing at the grandstand.

Now we know what the course is going to look like, let’s get stuck into some of the stats. These are all based over the last ten runnings as much earlier than that, although we get more data, we start to lose relevance to todays racing.

Age seems to play a key role in this race, which would make sense considering the astounding level of fitness a horse has to have over this distance and course. No six to eight year olds have won and the sweet spot is for horses aged between nine and eleven. There has been one twelve year old winner but out of thirty two twelve year olds racing that is just a 3% win rate.

As you would expect in a race with over such a long distance and with so many jumps, the weight a horse is carrying is crucial to their performance. However a horse carrying to little indicates that it’s not yet ready to compete in this race. This is proven in the results as only one horse carrying less than 10 stone 3 pounds has every placed. At the other end of the scale any horse carrying more than 11 stone 6 pounds is likely to be carrying more weight than they can cope with and these runners have only achieved a 10% place rate in the last decade with no winners.

Looking at the official rating we can see and interesting change over the last few years from the handicappers. Apart from Auroras Encore last year, all winners in the last five years have had an official rating of 148 or higher. However the previous five years saw four of the winners rated either 139 or 138 and none above 144. This would indicate that the handicappers are getting better at assessing the best in the race and giving them higher ratings. However keep a close watch on the weight they’re carrying as well.

This takes us on to class. It would be easy to assume that horses dropping down in class to this Grade 3 race would have a big edge, but… the stats prove that this is not the case. From 100 runners that have dropped down in class coming into the Grand National, just 9% of them have succeeded in taking a place position with no winners. Of course, moving up in class by too much is also going to make it very difficult for a runner to compete. As a general rule, any horse moving up in class by three or more levels can rules out as being a possible contender.

In order for a horse to compete they must have a certain level experience. You should be looking for runners that have raced at least ten times in chase races and won a minimum of three of them.

Before coming to Aintree most of the horses will have had preparation races and to make sure that they’ve got both a good level of fitness and competitiveness, you should be focusing on the runners who placed in the top five last time out. 80% of the winners have been in the top five in their last race. But, if their last race was at Cheltenham this has been proven to be a handicap to the runners with only two have won the Grand National when their last race was at Cheltenham.

We already know that a horse needs to be fit and so you should also concentrate on horses who have raced in the last twenty one to sixty days. This is the recency of racing that ALL of the winners have had so far.

Taking all this information into account, we’re looking for horses that:

Aged 9-11

Carrying 10-3 to 11-6 in the weights

At the higher end of the Official Rating. A minimum of 138 but with preference to 148 or higher

Not dropping in class and not rising by more than three class levels

Have raced in at least ten chase races and won at least three of them

Placed in the top five in their last race

Have raced in the last 21-60 days

From 73 runners declared at the time of writing this leaves us with Mossey Joe, Walkon, Balthazar King, Mr Moonshine, Across The Bay, Monbeg Dude, Big Shu, Burton Port, Chance Du Roy and Pineau De Re.

I would suggest, that you focus your attention on these runners when you are looking at who to bet on in the Grand National next week.

You can get all my analysis for the entire three day meeting here.

Let me know who you fancy by leaving a comment below.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. What about position in the betting forecast? I understood that was highly relevant. Also you said in your write up “As a general rule, any horse moving up in class by THREE OR MORE can rules out as being a possible contender”, but in your summary list you said “Not dropping in class and not rising by MORE THAN THREE class levels.” So just wondering which one it is? Interesting article though.

    1. Personally I don’t like to use the betting forecast very much generally but anything less than 13/2 is statistically a poor bet.

      In terms of class dropping down to a Grade 3 has seen all 100 entries beaten, but also any horse moving up more than three levels has also had all thirty entries beaten.

  2. Do you know any bookie that will take a bet on a horse finishing fourth? I have a very consistent knack for picking the buggers.

  3. Good stuff, Michael. Regarding class droppers, however, I would make an exception in the case of Teaforthree as the Gold Cup in which he ran was used as a prep for this. I think Martin Pipe did pretty much the same thing with Miinnehoma in 1994. And Jenny Pitman went very close to winning both races with Garrison Savannah. It is a problem with most statistical analysis of horse racing that the the figures are too small to be used purely as stats. They always need to used in conjunction with further analysis. So, for example, your stat of only 1/32 twelve year olds simply doesn’t hold up as a reliable statistic because 32 participants is simply not enough for genuine statistical analysis. When you combine it with the racing knowledge that horses begin to decline after their tenth year it holds considerably more sway. Not a criticism of your article, but just an observation.

    1. Thanks for the comment Brian. A very good mention on Teaforthree. This article was designed for purely looking at the past stats of the last ten Grand Nationals. But, as I’m sure you know, I totally agree with you and always recommend that you use some form reading and knowledge combined with any statistical method like this.

  4. My selections are:

    Burton Port
    Big Shu

    Had a nice start so far with Lac Fontana & Balder Success (and Hinterland)

  5. Hi Michael well done short listing the winner in your analysis, it certainly wasn’t on my radar.

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