Every year the nation descends upon their local bookies or online bookmaker to have a punt on the Grand National, it is almost a rite of passage for the UK public. One thing that people can agree on when it comes to this 4m 3f marathon race, is that it is a gamble on the day and any horse has a chance when it comes down to it. However, using past statistics to rule out horses and help you make decisions has always been the best way to do it in our eyes.
The statistical trends that we look for when picking our horses are the following:
– Carrying between 10 and 11 and a half stone
– Between the age of 9 & 11
– Rated above 135
– Had at least one run over the Grand National fences.
This narrows the field down substantially, and from these we have picked our strongest fancies which are the following:
HOLYWELL 16/1 EW
Holywell is a double Cheltenham Festival winner having won the Pertemps Hurdle three years ago and then following up in the big three mile handicap chase the following year. Has experience over these jumps, and won a Novice Chase here back in 2014. Jonjo O’Neill’s chaser continued to improve after his second Festival win by taking a Grade One Novice Chase at Aintree and then running fourth behind Coneygree in last year’s Gold Cup. Holywell is a high class chaser at his best and his best tends to come in the early part of each calendar year as all of his seven wins under Rules have come between January and April. With that fact in mind his supporters for the Grand National will be boosted by the horse's return to form at last month's Cheltenham Festival where he finished a gallant second to Un Temps Pour Tout.
SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR 20/1 EW
Despite being extremely heavily backed in this race last year, the horse could not quite pull off a famous victory under AP and, although he looked the main threat to Many Clouds at the second last, he eventually faded to finish a gallant fifth. Jonjo O’Neill has geared the horse’s campaign towards Aintree again and the handicapper has allotted him a mark of 1lb less than last season. This year he will be ridden by Barry Geraghty, who prefers him to other McManus runners, who has an excellent record in the Grand National including when successful on Monty’s Pass in 2003. Cheekpieces are back on and looks primed to attack the course.