• George Stevens is the most successful jockey in Grand National history.

  • Venetia Williams fell at Becher’s Brook in 1988.

  • History shows that horses that start with the letter R are lucky in the Grand National.


Grand National Trends (last 10 years):

  • Age: 8 of the last 10 winners were aged between 9 and 11.

  • Price: 2 of the last 10 favourites have won. 3 of the last 10 winners have come from the top 3 horses in the Grand National odds.

  • Last Run: 3 of the last 10 winners won on their last run before the Grand National with 3/10 placing on their last run. 9/10 winners ran within the last 35 days. 5/10 winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival on their last run.

  • Weights: 9/10 winners carried a weight of between 10st 6lbs and 11st 6lbs to victory.

  • Previous Aintree Form: 10/10 winners had at least one previous run at Aintree. 4/10 winners had at least one previous win at the track.

  • Previous Distance Form: 10/10 winners had at least one win over 3 miles or longer.

  • Previous Chase Form: 10/10 winners had at least 3 Chase wins, with 8/10 having at least 4 Chase wins to their name.

  • Rating: 9 of the last 10 winners were rated between 148-160.

  • Graded Win: 6/10 winners had at least one previous win in a Graded race.

  • Season Form: 7/10 winners had at least four runs that season already.

Grand National Winners:

Did you know that certain letters of the alphabet are much luckier than others when it comes to picking out Grand National winners at Aintree racecourse?

Of course there’s absolutely no science to it, but horses that have started with the letter “R” have won the world’s  greatest steeplechase at total of 21 times since 1839.

Aintree legend Red Rum clocked up three victories for Team R, while the likes of Rule The World and Red Marauder have been two of the more recent winners.

Six winners adrift from the leader is the letter “M” on fifteen victories, with the most recognisable names to those with short-term memories being Many Clouds in 2015, 100-1 surprise scorer Mon Mome in 2009 and Monty's Pass in 2003.

The letter “S” brings up the third spot, providing punters with 14 winners over the years including Silver Birch in 2007 and Seagram in 1991.

The full list of letters and their respective number of Grand National winners is as follows:

R (21) M (15) S (14) A (13) T (13) C (11) G (9) L (9) P (9) E (8) B (7) W (7) D (6) F (6) J (6) H (4) N (4) K (3) O (3) V (2) I (1) Q (1) Z (1) U (0) X (0) Y (0).

Grand National Trainers:

Let’s take a look through the current crop of trainers from the UK and Ireland and their respective records in the Aintree marathon.

Some have enjoyed success under Grand National sponsors while others are still waiting for their first win in the race.

Gordon Elliott (3 wins)

Elliott’s first win in the race came in 2007 when Silver Birch won under Robbie Power. He then had an eleven year wait before Tiger Roll took top honours in 2018, then again in 2019.

Anything the Cullentra stable sends over to Merseyside to compete in the race has to be considered and invariably at least one of Elliott’s runners goes well.

Nigel Twiston-Davies (2 wins)

With wins in 1998 with Earth Summit and 2002 with Binderee, Twiston-Davies is a formidable trainer when it comes to preparing horses for these unique Aintree fences.

If anything Twiston-Davies is well overdue another success, so keep your eyes peeled as to what he saddles.

Willie Mullins (1 win)

For a massively successful operation, it’s really surprising that Mullin’s sole Grand National winner to date was Hedgehunter in 2005.

He’s been knocking on the door several times since and you certainly cannot underestimate anything he enters.

Paul Nicholls (1 win)

Nicholls finally registered his first win in the National with Neptune Collonges in 2012, but has mainly had mixed fortunes with the rest of his runners over the years.

Again, for a big stable, punters would have expected more from the Ditcheat maestro but the cookie hasn’t always crumbled for him.

Nicky Henderson (0 wins)

It still beggars belief that one of the most successful National Hunt trainers of all time still does not have the Grand National on his illustrious CV.

Henderson’s first runner in the Grand National came in 1979 with a horse called Zongalero, which ironically finished the runner-up and that has been the closest he has ever come to landing the race.

Grand National Jockeys:

  • George Stevens is the most successful jockey in Grand National history with five wins. His final triumph came in 1870.

  • Bruce Hobbs is the youngest jockey to have won the race. The 17-year-old was victorious aboard Battleship in 1938. The oldest jockey was Dick Saunders who won aged 48, riding Grittar.

  • The first female jockey to compete in the Grand National was Charlotte Brew in 1977, riding Barony Fort at 200-1.

  • Since then 16 female jockeys have had mounts in the race, with Katie Walsh being the most successful this far when she came third in 2012 aboard Seabass.

  • Of the current crop of female jockeys, Ireland’s Rachael Blackmore looks the most likely candidate to be the first female winner of the Grand National.

  • The 2009 winning trainer, Venetia Williams, also rode in the race. She fell at Becher’s Brook on the first circuit when riding 200-1 chance Marcolo in 1988.


Grand National 2021 Runner By Runner Guide:

Bristol De Mai

Better known for his Haydock exploits but he is still a class horse in his own right as his 2019 Gold Cup third showed.

Chris’s Dream

Henry de Bromhead’s runner was pulled up at Cheltenham but he does have decent form in the locker such as his Troytown Chase win in 2019.

Yala Enki

The gutsy eleven-year-old is also an eleven-time winner and stays longer than the mother-in-law.

He’s the ideal Grand National partner for jockey Bryony Frost and the pair can be backed at 28/1 in our 888sport horse racing betting.

Ballyoptic

The former Charlie Hall winner appears to be on the wane but a torrential downpour would certainly perk up his chances.

Definitly Red

Nobody would begrudge Northern jump racing star Definitly Red a win in this and the veteran showed plenty of his old zip behind Cloth Cap at Kelso.

Lake View Lad

Winner of the Many Clouds Chase here back in December but was pulled up in this in 2019. He should fare better.

Burrows Saint

The 2019 Irish Grand National victor has every chance of adding this English version to his CV and giving Willie Mullins his second Grand National winner after Hedgehunter in 2005.

Magic Of Light

Jessica Harrington’s 2019 runner-up has always had a return trip to Merseyside mapped out for her. She jumps these unique fences well so definitely comes into the reckoning.

Acapella Bourgeois

Took the scalp of Burrows Saint in February when winning the Bobbyjo Chase for a second time and this handy veteran was also third in the 2019 Irish Grand National.

Talkischeap

Winner of the Bet365 Gold Cup in 2019 but has failed to reproduce that form since. He probably needs lots of sunshine to figure.

Tout Est Permis

A pretty unpredictable horse this season but the Noel Meade factor does make you take a second, and perhaps a third look at him.

Anibale Fly

The consistent JP McManus-owned veteran has finished fourth and fifth in the last two runnings of the Grand National and will not have Tiger Roll to contend with this time.

Mister Malarky

Wind surgery at the start of February appeared to work the oracle for Mister Malarky when he finished third at the Cheltenham Festival. His breeding says he’s a certain stayer.

Kimberlite Candy

Finished second in the Becher Chase over the National fences back in December and the nine-year-old can run well fresh.

Any Second Now

Won over 3m2f at Cheltenham two years ago and trainer Ted Walsh won this race in 2000 with his son Ruby riding Papillon.

Balko Des Flos

2018 Ryanair Chase winner Balko Des Flos was recently purchased by the Racehorseclub who should have a micro day of fun with him.

Alpha Des Obeaux

The Gigginstown veteran has been a Grade 2 winner and a World Hurdle runner-up in his time. Can he put in one last big race hoorah?

Ok Corral

If he can reproduce the form that saw him land the Sky Bet Chase in 2020 then Nicky Henderson might finally get this Grand National monkey off his back.

Takingrisks

Nicky Richard’s trusty steed has won a Scottish National, a Sky Bet Chase and a Rehearsal Chase and proving that despite being a veteran now, he is still a top-class handicapper.

Shattered Love

The ten-year-old mare finished third in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase at The Festival which on paper doesn’t look like good enough form for Aintree.

Jett

A shadow of his former self these days after being a particularly useful sort a few seasons back.

Lord Du Mesnil

Grinds away from the front and he put in another gutsy display in the Grand National Trial at Haydock but his chances look very much ground dependent.

Potters Corner

The 2019 Welsh Grand National winner will be a popular choice amongst punters plus former winners of that race have done well in this version too.

Class Conti

Thyestes second Class Conti could well be another live chance that carries those famous double-green colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, the other being Bristol de Mai.

Milan Native

Winner of last year’s Kim Muir and highly plausible that the Cullentra House stable have laid the eight-year-old out for this race.

Discorama

Owned jointly between Andrew Gemmell and Thomas Friel, Discorama has been placed at three Cheltenham Festivals and completely fits the profile of a Grand National winner.

Vieux Lion Rouge

Prolific jumper of these unique fences as his Becher Chase successes prove but this marathon trip appears to be his downfall every time.

Cloth Cap

On all known recent form he looks the horse to beat and is a stone well in. Jockey Tom Scudamore however has never placed in the top three in any of his 18 previous National attempts.

Can that all change on Saturday? 4/1 in our online betting says he can blow the stats out of the water.

Cabaret Queen

Winner of the Munster National and Kerry National’s, the mare looks a very big price considering who she is trained by.

Minellacelebration

Katy Price’s twelve-year-old has an impeccable record at Aintree and is a very interesting outsider should he stay the trip.

Canelo

Canelo has run some super prep races this season and Alan King is in danger of actually winning the Grand National despite claiming not to enjoy it.

The Long Mile

Third to Acapella Bourgeois last time out and an impressive winner at Christmas, this JP-owned runner could well be this year’s dark horse.

Give Me A Copper

Won the Badger Beers Silver Trophy winner in 2019 but his form has a very topsy-turvy feel about it these days.

Farlcas

Ran an impressive second to The Shunter in the Paddy Power Chase at Cheltenham and off a featherweight of just 10-3, he’s starting to look like the stable’s main hope.

Minella Times

Minella Times is the mount of Rachael Blackmore, which in turn has prompted a raft of money to come for the Henry de Bromhead-trained Paddy Power Chase runner-up.

Sub Lieutenant

Formerly owned by Gigginstown, the twelve-year-old is still enjoying his racing but he just appears to be too slow to win this.

Hogan’s Height

Winner of the Grand Sefton Chase over the National fences in 2019 but this is a different kettle of fish altogether.

Double Shuffle

Has some back class in his satchel to potentially get into the mix but on the whole his form doesn’t point to him winning this race.

Ami Desbois 

Solid performer over the years but it’s hard to make a case for him being a really serious contender.

Blaklion

Useful in his time with Nigel Twiston-Davies and was sent off the Grand National favourite in 2017, but he looks like a fragile veteran now.

Reserve: Some Neck

Landed the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novice Chase in 2018 on good going and would be an interesting contender if Aintree experiences a spell of dry weather.

Reserve: Secret Reprieve

Winner of the Welsh Grand National this season and clearly a talented youngster, but the last seven-year-old to win this was back in 1940.


*Credit for the main photo belongs to Jon Super, File / AP Photo*

 

FIRST PUBLISHED: 30th March 2021

About the Author
By
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 25 renewals of the Grand National.