Grand National 2014 betting: Should I back a good jumper or risk a runner with a high fall ratio?

Last year's champion Neptune Collonges had a 25% 'failed to complete' record heading into the National

Click to follow
The Independent Online

“You have to stand up to win”.

The final glaringly obvious racing phrase used about this race more than any other leaves me to look at just how important this statistic actually is? Yes they need to stand up to win (and with re mounting no longer aloud there is zero chance these days regardless of what happens to those in front of you), but just how good a jumper do you need to be to get involved in the finish?

Naturally, everyone would argue that the least falls, unseated rider, pulled up, and so on a horse has on his or her CV the better, but would you believe that is factually pretty much incorrect in recent years?

Last year’s victor had a “failed to complete” percentage of 25% plus which I found astounding (and may well explain the 66/1 starting price), but amazingly six of the last seven winners have failure rates of 11% or higher – do they need to fail in order to learn how to jump properly? How much use that stat actually is I am unclear on but if we take it at face value (and I need to cut the numbers down again), then we can rule out Quito De La Roque, Lion Na Bearnai, Prince De Beauchene, and Pineau De Re who are all far too safe if that stat is to be believed?


Ending with the going, all I can tell you is that nine of the last twelve winners (and all of the last five) have won at least once on the prevailing ground which is currently described as Good to Soft, which is what I am now working to! That fact removes a further five as it is taking us to a new list of the eight below (number of wins on the going in brackets), and IF history is repeated, the winner comes from one of that mini pack.

Wayward Prince (66/1) 3

Big Shu (25/1) 1

Burton Port (20/1) 1

Vintage Star (50/1) 1

Chance Du Roy (40/1) 2

Golan Way (100/1) 2

Twirling Magnet ((100/1) 2

Alvarado (40/1) 2

That leaves us with three remaining choices – pick your own horse and ignore the stats (and I don’t blame you at all for that), pick one or more from the eight horse short list, or take it one step further and remove those with just the one win on the ground to

Wayward Prince (66/1)

Chance Du Roy (40/1)

Golan Way (100/1)

Twirling Magnet ((100/1)

Alvarado (40/1)

and choose from them?  Whatever you decide, all I can now do is wish you all the very best whichever horse or horses you decide upon and remind you – these are statistics not facts or tips – just a fun way of trying to point us all in the right direction, win or lose!

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...

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