Stats should find Grand National winner

We’re just two weeks away from the world’s greatest horse race – one in which the inhabitants of the UK gamble somewhere between £150m and £200m each year!

Most people simply pick out a name they like and cheer their selection on in front of the TV; it’s a British tradition. This is partly because the race is traditionally seen as one that pretty much any hose can win. And when you consider the enormous fences that have to be jumped over four and a half miles of turf, with 40 horses in the race each year – it’s easy to see where that belief comes from. And there have been plenty of very long-shot winners over the years.

But actually, if you analyse the statistics of the winners of the race – you can narrow the field down quite markedly yet still retain a few long-shot bets.

For example, over the last three decades, 80% of winners have been aged 9, 10 or 11 and the average weight carried by the winner over that period is 10st-08¾lbs. Yet still some of the closest-priced favourites have well over 11stones.

Then when you consider that four out of every five winners during recent years had run over hurdles in the season in which they won the Grand National, that all the last ten winners of the race had previously won a race worth £17k or more, and had run over fences at least ten times and that they’d all previously won over at least three miles – it narrows the field right down.

This takes a bit of work, but is well worth the effort if you’re planning to have a bet on the Grand National.

And if you are planning to, it’s also worth doing so early. This means placing an ante-post bet which also means you run the risk of losing your stake entirely should you selection not take part in the race for any reason. But the prices of the leading contenders tend to get marked right down on the day with the bookmakers – so it’s often worth the risk.

It’s also worth considering making your bet on an exchange, like Betfair, for example. Here, there is no traditional bookmaker – it’s simply an exchange; a market of buyers and sellers like any other and the odds generally tend to be better (but not always so it’s worth double-checking this information first).

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