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Grand National 2014 betting: 'Class will out' eliminates Teaforthree, Colbert Station, Shakalakaboomboom and other previous front-runners

Stats show that runners that have placed in previous years tend to struggle when they return to Aintree

"Class will out."

Not the easiest saying of me to explain but a sensible enough concept that the best horse wins – easy to say after the race, not so easy to predict beforehand!

Ignoring the weights each horse carried and looking at official ratings (as handed out by the dreaded handicapper), it does look as though better horses are now getting involved in the race which may well be down to an easing of the fences – or the £561,000 first prize or both?

Interestingly, although the classier horses may be competing they are not necessarily winning with 14 of the last 210 winners rated below 150, with the 157 rated Neptune Collonges officially the best horse, and the 136 rated Bindaree the “worst”.

Looking at our latest short list, the only chances those stats bring about sees the removal of Long Run at the top of the weights, and no changes at the bottom – we have already got rid of those carrying more than they should be!

The ground was my next stop showing me that sixteen of the last twenty winners had won at least once on the prevailing going, but more of that tomorrow in the concluding article when I have the best possible idea of the ground conditions! We can at least look at the betting to finish today and with winners at odds from 100/1 down to 7/1, it seems that all things are possible?

A double figure price certainly seems an advantage (?) with only four of the last 20 victors shorter which leads me to remove favourite Teaforthree which will surprise some, but not those who have looked at the stats for past runners! Since 2004 plenty have placed and been back to try and take the pot but despite running well, Amberleigh House was the only one to succeed!

That new fact helps me remove Teaforthree (again), Colbert Station, Balthazar King, Mr Moonshine, Across The Bay, The Rainbow Hunter, The Package, Shakalakaboomboom, and Soll (who is currently a reserve anyway), leaving me one more chance to use the going for our final short list tomorrow – I only hope we have captured the winner somehow?]

How else might I pick a winner?

Sean has been narrowing down the field all week. You can see which horses are favoured by clicking the links below...

What impact does the handicap have?
Should I factor in age and experience?
Should I bet on a two-and-a-half mile specialist?

Tomorrow: A final round up of the week – and the statistical decision as to the likeliest winner  (I hope).