Grand National runners 2012 to back and oppose based on weight


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The Independent Online

The Grand National can be a difficult but rewarding contest in which to back the winner. There are certain ways to narrow the race down from forty runners to perhaps less than half that number in possible winners and one of the ways to do that is to examine which weights have been most successful over the years in the Grand National.

With this race being a handicap, and the horses carrying different weights based on the ability they have shown on the racecourse to date, there are going to be certain types to follow in this race. A full list of Grand National runners is available here.

A few years ago it could be argued that horses carrying over 11 stone in the Grand National had very little chance in the race, only one horse had done so in over twenty years (and that was Hedgehunter in 2005 carrying just 11-1) until Don’t Push It won in 2010 carrying 11-5 and now many Grand National trends fans will just put a thick line through any runner carrying over 11-5 as the last horse to win with more than 11-5 on his back was Grand National Red Rum in 1977 and on that occasion he was winning the race for a fourth time! Too much weight can certainly stop any horse and the only horses in the last seven runnings to even place with more than 11-5 on their back are noted Grand National specialists who had previously at least placed in the race. Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised could therefore struggle to place off top weight (11-10) if he takes his chance whilst last year’s winner Ballabriggs, who will carry 11-09 if Synchronised runs, will only place at best if these stats are upheld.

Are things any better for those at the bottom of the weights in the Grand National? Not really, unfortunately, for those who just sneak into the race this year. Horses carrying 10-6 or less have as bad a record at producing the winner as the over 11 stone horses, just two winners this century have carried 11-6 or less to victory and they were only slightly fancied in the betting with Bindaree winning at 20/1 in 2002 and Silver Birch winning at 33/1 in 2007. With few winners coming from the top and bottom of the weights, it is the horses carrying 10-7 to 11 stone inclusive who have won eight of the last twelve Grand Nationals. Their odds have ranged from 7/1 joint favourite (Comply Or Die in 2008) to 100/1 rank outsider (Mon Mome in 2009) and this weight range could narrow the field down to no more than sixteen runners this year.


So the winner is most likely to carry somewhere between 10-7 and 11-0 to victory this year but can anything change that? Well, if the ground was to come up soft on Saturday (there is some rain about) then it is highly likely you would want to consider horses carrying a little less weight. These stats are mostly based on the Grand National being run on good ground and the last three times the Grand National has been run on soft or heavy going, the winners have carried 10-12, 10-5 and 10-3 which suggests that weight counts for even more when extra stamina is required on soft ground.  Find out what Grand National runners fit these criteria.