Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Grand National – Saturday Grade One Trends

There are six Grade One races that take place at the Aintree Grand National Meeting, two on each of the three days. Here we take a look at the dominant trends in those Grade One races on the final day of the meeting, the Saturday, which will prove a real aid to our winner finding. Remember, it's not just about the Grand National betting offers.

The Saturday card provides us with back-to-back Grade One action before the Grand National itself. The John Smith's Maghull Novices' Chase comes first and there are some dominant and strong trends which are prevalent in the majority of the winners.

It pays to concentrate on those which contested the Arkle Trophy, with only one of the last 16 winners not having taken part in that race; with the last 13 winners having been in the first three in the betting the race has proved a favourable one for punters. If you are looking for a trainer to follow in the race then Paul Nicholls is your man, since 1999 he has saddled 5 winners and 5 seconds in the event. One group to avoid though are any Irish contenders they have not been successful in this race for 22 years.

If you want to avoid the Irish challenge in the Maghull Novices' Chase then you don't want to do that in the second Grade One event on the Saturday, the John Smith's Aintree Hurdle. The Irish challenge has been successful in ten of the last 17 renewals of this race, especially with horses that have bypassed Cheltenham and been specifically targeted at this race. Those looking at the Grand National latest odds may want to bear this tip in mind as well.

However, there has been no outright winning favourite since 1999 so that has made life a bit tougher for punters and generally it pays to oppose Nicky Henderson's runners in the race where he is 0/14.

The final point to make about this race is that previous runnings of the race have been a very good guide, and repeat winners are frequent.
The John Smith's Aintree Hurdle is the final Grade One event of the Grand National Meeting at Aintree, but provides a fitting prelude to the Grand National itself.

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