The Grand National Race Analysis

It doesn’t seem long ago that I was looking at an analysis of the Gold Cup. Like the Gold Cup analysing the Grand National is a very hard task as all of the runners are of a high quality. Earlier this week I looked at a few of the trends of the Grand National.

When I opened the race card I noticed straight away that our high strike rate trainers D.Pipe, G.Elliott, V.Williams and W.P.Mullins all have runners in the race.

Arbor Supreme (IRE) W P Mullins
Piraya (FR) D Pipe
The Package D Pipe
Mon Mome (FR) Miss Venetia Williams
Backstage (FR) G Elliott
Madison Du Berlais (FR) D Pipe
Snowy Morning (IRE) W P Mullins
Comply Or Die (IRE) D Pipe
Flintoff (USA) Miss Venetia Williams
Pablo Du Charmil (FR) D Pipe

There are forty declared runners and we need to try and narrow down the field to a list of horses that we feel have a competitive chance in the race. We can then analyse these runners in more detail. It is also important to note that while D.Pipe and W.P.Mullins both have decent strike rates, you would be losing if you had flat bet them to SP. However as we are just looking at finding the winner rather than long term profit this is not so important.

From our high strike rate jockeys we have:

Big Fella Thanks R Walsh
Comply Or Die (IRE) T J Murphy
Nozic (FR) L Treadwell
Made In Taipan (IRE) N P Madden

Comply Or Die is the only runner that appears in both of these lists and so far we have 13 runners in our contenders.  Keeping these in mind I am now going to look at negatives to see if we can remove any of the other 27 runners and possibly some of our 13.

We found out in our statistics this week that most winners in the Grand National are aged either 9 or 10. In fact only 1 horse has one that has been 8 years old or younger, this can immediately remove a number of runners.  Very often horses in the top weights also struggle as they are over weighted for the level of competition in the race, in fact anything over 155 pounds could cause a problem. Below is a list of all runners that will be carrying 155 pounds or more, or are aged seven or eight.

Arbor Supreme (IRE)
Big Fella Thanks
Piraya (FR)
The Package
Tricky Trickster (IRE) 2
Backstage (FR)
Can’t Buy Time (IRE)
Palypso De Creek (FR)
Made In Taipan (IRE) 2
Black Apalachi (IRE)
Vic Venturi (IRE)
Don’t Push It (IRE)
Mon Mome (FR)
Madison Du Berlais (FR)
Dream Alliance
Niche Market (IRE)
Comply Or Die (IRE)
My Will (FR)
Joe Lively (IRE)
Cloudy Lane
Nozic (FR)
Pablo Du Charmil (FR)

The two horses with a ‘2’ next to their names signify that they fell under both of the negative criteria above. We shall not remove any of our contenders even if they have these negatives. This has put our list down to 29 runners. If we remove our 13 contenders with positives from this there are 16 runners for whom we have no positives or negatives yet. We may be able to remove some of these horses by only looking at those runners which have won a race that was 3 miles or longer before this year’s Grand National.

By applying this condition to our contenders we remove Piraya, Maljimar,Pablo Du Charmil, Made In Taipan and Cerium. We are going to remove all these horses from our contender list. Maljimar and Cerium were the only runners that we hadn’t flagged as contenders and so they shall be marked as non-contenders.

Piraya is a young horse for this race and hasn’t won a race over 3 miles before and so we wouldn’t want to place our money on him winning and he can be removed. Pablo Du Charmil has a lot of weight on him and hasn’t won over 3 miles which is also a concern and so can be removed from our contenders. Made In Taipan, although with a good jockey, is young, carrying a lot of weight and has not won over 3 miles before which removes him from our consideration.

Interestingly Piraya and Pablo Du Charmil are both D.Pipe horses. It may be that these have been entered as pace setters to his other two runners Comply Or Die and The Package.

We are now down to 24 possible runners of which 10 have already got positives. At this point we shall begin analysing the runners in more depth. I am going to look at the 10 closely and then have a quick look at the shape of the market. Our 10 contenders are:

Arbor Supreme (IRE)
The Package
Mon Mome (FR)
Backstage (FR)
Madison Du Berlais (FR)
Snowy Morning (IRE)
Comply Or Die (IRE)
Flintoff (USA)
Big Fella Thanks
Nozic (FR)

Arbor Supreme

Having raced in Febuary and finished 2nd, Arbor Supreme has had a nicely timed rest before the big race. He has proven himself to like the going and long distances but carrying a weight of 162 pounds could be a big ask for him. He is also 8 years old and statistically this can only go against him. He has W.P.Mullins riding him which goes in his favour but I would expect the weight to be too much in this race at his age.

The Package

With excellent recent form over distances of 25 and 26 furlongs on the same going as the Grand National, The Package starts looking good. At 147 pounds he is well weighted and coming from the D.Pipe stable could be a strong contender. At 7 years old he is a bit young to win this race but one to watch in the betting market.

Mon Mome

Last year’s shock winner is back this year. He raced in the Cheltenham Gold Cup as his warm up for the Grand National and came 3rd suggesting that he is in the correct form. He suits the going and obviously can win the Grand National. Weighted at 161 pounds he is 7 pounds heavier than he was when he won last year and this could be enough to make him struggle. He hasn’t won a race with this amount of weight April 2006 and it was only over 20 furlongs, nothing like the mammoth 36 furlongs that he will be facing. He will be trying his best to win but I think the weight may just be to much for him.


Backstage has excellent recent form, except for his last race where he got held up. He has shown that the going is not a problem for him but he favours Good going over Good-Soft. Fairly weighted at 154 pounds this should not pose a problem for him. This is a step up in class for him and aged just eight I would leave him alone unless the betting market told me otherwise.

Madison Du Berlais

This horse is at the prime age to win the race. While recent form has shown a number of places they have been long distances behind the winner. The 164 pounds that he is carrying is hefty and he has shown that he can run with it over long distances on the going. Although his weight goes against statistical knowledge he could be one to look out for.

Snowy Morning

Snowy Morning is another runner with excellent recent form. He finished 9th in the Grand National last year and hasn’t performed well in a race over 21 furlongs since. The going conditions should suit though and with a comfortable 153 pounds there should be no problems with weight. His trainer has shown that he knows what it takes to win this race and with Arbour Supreme taking the weight he may have concentrated his efforts here. If he can last the distance there is not much to go against Snowy Morning and he could be a contender.

Comply Or Die

Recent form is not so good and he hasn’t won a race since 2008. However last year he came 2nd in the Grand National and first the year before with Timmy Murphy riding him again this year. Since then he has only raced two races, performing poorly, which were in November 2009 and in March 2010. Even though he performed poorly this suggests that D.Pipe has been focussing on training him specifically for this race. The conditions are his favourite and the weight is not going to cause him any trouble. Comply Or Die is certainly one to look out for.


Not having run since December last year is a bit of concern as past form indicates that he likes to run regularly and build into hot streaks. Only carrying 149 pounds means that weight is not going to be a problem for him and he has proven that he likes both the going and the distance at higher weights. Although having a number of places he hasn’t won a race since 2007 and apart from having a hot trainer there is nothing that particularly makes him stand out, in a race where every edge is going to be needed. I would not mark Flintoff as a contender unless the betting market suggested otherwise.

Big Fella Thanks

Big Fella Thanks is R.Walsh’s chosen mount from the stable of P.H.Nicholls. The form of this horse suggests wonderful things having come in the top 3 in 50% of his chase races. Last year he came 6th in the Grand National but at the age of 7 was a bit young. He may still be a bit young at 8. 152 pounds may be a little bit too much for him to carry in a race of this quality but he could definitely be in for a place.


Nozic also has excellent form although recently it has not been so good. Although comfortable with races up to 26 furlongs there is no proof of being able to have the stamina to go further with the only 30 furlong race he has run weakening him. There is no worry regarding the weight or ground conditions and he has a hot jockey riding him. P.H.Nicholls is the trainer and I am sure is hoping to get a winner in this race that he has not yet won. While he is a strong horse there is also nothing to stand out from the others and I would probably go for Big Fella Thanks from the Nicholls yard.

The runners that stand out to me as strong possibilities are Madison Du Berlais, Snowy Morning, Comply Or Die and Big Fella Thanks. The ones I would specifically be watching for in the betting market would be The Package, Mon Mome, Backstage and Flintoff.

Having a quick look at the betting market it currently has Big Fella Thanks as the favourite at 11, Snowy Morning at 17, Comply Or Die at 28 and Madison Du Berlais at 80. I would remove Madison Du Berlais if the odds stay this high. Although Mon Mome won last year with exceptionally high odds this is a rare occurrence. It may happen again but I would not want my money to be on it.

Backstage and Flintoff do not currently have odds low enough to concern me but Mon Mome is 17 and The Package is 13.5. Mon Mome odds will reflect his win last year, deservedly but possible slightly more than it should.

There are many ways to bet this and one I may choose is to dutch Big Fella Thanks and The Package for the win. Comply Or Die and Snowy Morning both have odds high enough to place each-way bets on and I would most likely go with that for them. I may dutch all these runners to win depending on the odds available when I come to bet.

I hope that has given you a detailed look at some possibilities in tomorrow’s race.

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.
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