We have 17 years of data to sort and analyse for this race and this year we have 30 runners intending to take part in the Bank Holiday Monday feature race at Fairyhouse. In those previous years no trainer has won the race twice and only the sidelined Ruby Walsh has won it twice, but the three Carberry jockeys all have one win each alongside their trainer father Tommy having one also. Realistically though it looks one of the trickiest end of season races you could have and we’ll have to do some digging to throw up some biases.
Irish Grand National – Horse Age
There doesn’t seem to be a genuine bias towards an age group here with spread of win and strike rates fairly normal. 10 year olds have won the last two at 33/1 and 50/1 which drives up the level stakes profit for those runners but in prior years they had just 1 win from 60 runners.
10 of the last 17 winners have been aged 7 or 8 with the preference for the younger as they have done so from fewer runner and provide a better placing strike rate also. 11 year olds have just 1 win from 26 runners whilst any older horses are winless from 10 so I wouldn’t like to be on anything 11 or older from that point. Additionally although statistics don’t lend any weight to either side, I’m generally not keen on 6 year olds in these staying chases as I feel they lack that bit of experience.
Irish Grand National – Official Ratings
No winner has been rated higher than 136 from 93 runners and that would eliminate over a third of this year’s current field of 30 runners. This is backed up by 15 of the 17 most recent winners having carried at least 11lbs less than the top weight.
Another key factor I believe are the typically progressive horses, as those who race off an official rating lower than their last race (those who have been dropped 1lb or more) have just 4 wins from 135 runners. Those who race off the same mark or have been raised up to 28lbs from their last race have three times the winners from just 60% more runners (12 wins from 221 runners).
Irish Grand National – Horse Profile
An obvious negative statistic that stands out for me is horses that have had more than 10 handicap chases haven’t won at all from 66 runners. Similarly any horse that went off as favourite in their last race has won just 1 from 58.
Other negatives include having not won going right handed (0-49) and having not won in current headgear if wearing any (0-52).
I think the final bias I’d like to consider is regarding consistency in handicap chases which sounds like an obvious claim (and rightly so) but the stats suggest it can be very useful. Horses who have placed in 50% or more of their handicap chases have 10 wins from 174 runners whilst 235 runners who hand’t only provide the 7 remaining winners.
– Rated 136 or below.
– Carrying 11lbs or more less than top weight.
– Same or higher mark than last time out.
– No more than 10 handicap chases.
– Not favourite last time out.
– Won right handed.
– Won in any headgear being worn.
The application of the above seven trends leaves us with just two horses running in this year’s race in Folsom Blue and Gallant Oscar. The latter won very nicely last time out and has to shoulder a 13lbs rise but looks progressive at the moment whilst the Gigginstown runner Folsom Blue has previously won over 3m4f under Heavy conditions so won’t lack for the stamina over this trip. The pair look reasonable betting propositions at 14/1 and 25/1 and with 5 places available at quarter of the odds it makes sense to play the pair each way.
FOLSOM BLUE – 1pt E/W at 25/1
GALLANT OSCAR – 1pt E/W at 14/1