The Greatest Steeplechase in the World

After a miserable first two days of theFestival for me, I will be treading very carefully for the final day .

I will, however, be getting further involved in the big race tomorrow.

If you read last week’s early look at the National, I’m already on Chicago Grey and Killyglen but will use today’s post to have a more in depth look at the trends for the race to see if I can tease our another couple of selections.

The temptation when using trends can be to drill down too far in the quest for only a couple of selections. In this race it’s better to have a few runners on our side so I will try and avoid digging in too deep.

Here goes:

Age – No horse outside the ages 8-12 has even made the frame in the last 7 years. In fact I think it’s also fairly safe to exclude 12 year olds as only 2 have triumphed in the last 20 years despite an awful lot of triers.

So excluding all horses outside the age range 8-11 allows us to get rid of Black Appalachi, Organisedconfusion, Tharawaat, Mon Mome, Tharawaat, State of Play, Vic Venturi, In Compliance, Viking Blond and Hello Bud. A decent start – the field is already 25% smaller!

Weight – No winner in the last 10 years has carried more than a stone above the bottom weight in the handicap. A pretty strong stat this that allows us to remove quite a few of the fancied runners from the equation. Anything carrying more than 11 stone has to go! Scratch Synchronised (pity he’s not an each way price!), Ballabriggs, Weird Al, Neptune Collonges, Calgary Bay, Alfabeat, Planet of Sound, Deep Purple and Junior.

All of the last 10 winners had already won a chase in excess of 3miles. This allows us to exclude Tatenen, Seabass, Treacle, Quiscover Fontaine and Becauseicouldntsee

All of the last 10 winners had only won 1 chase or less that season. Using this stat we can get rid of According to Pete and Giles Cross

All of the last 20 winners had a race within the last 50 days. On that basis we can get rid of Chicago Grey (worst luck!), West End Rocker, On His Own, Always Right, Cappa Bleu and Arbor Supreme.

On recent runnings, I’m pretty sure that anything rated 140 or below will just not be good enough which allows us to get rid of Swing Bill, Postmaster, Midnight Haze and Neptune Equester (those last 3 British bred as well which is a big no no)

After all that we are left with a shortlist of:


Rare Bob

The Midnight Club



We could trim that down further but I think that would fall into the category of drilling too deep so I will leave it at that. This is never a race to get heavily involved in so I will have ┬áthose 5 + Chicago Grey against the field for very small stakes. There are some very decent prices there so should one of them triumph or a couple of them place I’ll turn a profit.

Be lucky whatever you are backing







  1. Just a word of warning: statistics are never predictive – ever.

    In this case you may well have excluded the winner from your calculations. Provided they stand up, Seabass and On his Own have outstanding chances. They have both been trained for the National. The second in last week’s Irish Grand National was virtually annihilated by Seabass. I don’t really know anything about On his Own, but I have seen Seabass race and if he is there at the finish he will win.

    1. Hi Werner

      I agree with you entirely about statistics. However, I firmly believe they can be used to build a profile of the kind of horse that is needed to win a particular race. It won’t be right all of the time, or even most of the time but often enough to turn a profit. I’ve noticed this morning that the money has really come for Seabass – almost like defeat is out of the question!

      Good luck with it


  2. Hi Kieran,
    I agree that the National is best played with about 5 or 6 against the field. My selections are Killyglen, Chicago Grey, Rare Bob, Planet Of Sound and Always Right (ironically chosen by my wife!). My only reservation about Chicago Grey is that the hold-up tactics need to be spot on. I’d like to see him make a move at the beginning of the second cicuit (assuming he’s still on his feet). With hindsight an in-running back bet after a circuit may be a better play as I expect his odds to rise signifcantly mid-race. Tipping my hat to the older generation I have taken place only bets (5 places) on State Of Play 9/1 and Black Appalachi 8/1 with PP. I can’t see either winning but both jump these fences as good, if not better, than most of the field and I’m hoping one can stay on into a place. Best of luck with your selections!

    1. Hi Nick

      I know exactly where you are coming from with Chicago Grey – Carberry needs to get it just right. Horrible drift for him now on betfair. We shall see. very interesting to note that Rare Bob is as big as 40/1 with some firms but is lowest with Ladbrokes at 25/1
      Again, we shall see

      Very good luck


  3. Nice work Kieran

    Pre-empted my post by about an hour!!
    We were left with the same final 5, let’s hope that’s good thing…


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