How to pick a Grand National winner: your guide to getting the upper hand on the bookies

How to pick a Grand National winner: your guide to getting the upper hand on the bookies

oddschecker assess the factors which you should be looking out for when selecting your winner for the Grand National.

Picking a Grand National winner

Just as all punters are getting over their Cheltenham hangover, we have Aintree just on the horizon which of course means the Grand National. This 40 horse spectacle is run over 4 miles and 2 furlongs with a staggering 30 fences to cover along the way.

Only two horses in the last 60 years have managed to win the race more than once which just shows how difficult it is to win the race, and also pick the winner.

The Grand National is also one of the richest and most rewarding horse races in the world giving £1 million in total prize money with over half of that going to the winner – £561,300 in 2019.


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Know the distance your horse is capable of

Experience over long trips is a big consideration for any punter to think about when choosing their selection. With this being one of the most gruelling races in the sport, horses that have previously run and been successful over long-staying chases could be worth keeping an eye on. Your selection will have no chance if they can’t stay this monster trip, so make sure your horse has bags of stamina.

Horses that have also been and competed in the Grand National but not been successful should be worth considering or looking into, as there have been a number of horses who have won after a number of unsuccessful years.

How much does age and weight matter?

Similar to distance experience is going to be a big factor taken into consideration for picking your horse for the Grand National. An older horse is likely to have been in more long-distance races and also against bigger fields, although not always the case. Based on previous years it’s hard to say if age is more important as it is an even split of horses under and over 10 years old who have won the race in the last decade.

As in any race, weight can also dictate a horses chances of winning, especially in longer-distance races, as stamina becomes more and more important. Six of the last ten winners of the Grand National carried 11 stone or less.

Don’t be too distracted by the odds

You should not be judging your selection based on its odds and price alone. In a 40 horse race is it is quite unlikely that the favourite wins, so outsiders should certainly not be overlooked.  

In the last 10 races, only twice has the favourite won, in one case this was also a joint favourite. Five of the last 10 winners have also been priced at 25/1 or over, with Auroras Encore winning in 2013 priced at 66/1.

Grand National previous winners

2019 Tiger Roll, 9yo, 11st 9lbs, 4/1F
2018 Tiger Roll, 8yo, 10st 13lbs, 10/1
2017 One For Arthur, 8yo, 10st 11lbs, 14/1
2016 Rule The World, 9yo, 10st 07lbs, 33/1
2015 Many Clouds, 8yo, 11st 09lbs, 25/1
2014 Pineau De Re, 11yo, 10st 06lbs, 25/1
2013 Auroras Encore, 11yo, 10st 03lbs, 66/1
2012 Neptune Collonges, 11yo, 11st 06lbs, 33/1
2011 Ballabriggs, 10yo, 11st 0lbs, 14/1
2010 Don’t Push It, 10yo, 11st 05lbs, 10/1JF