With the three-day Aintree Grand National Meeting this week Andy Newton highlights six stables that have often done well with their runners at this fixture.
Note: All figures in brackets are based on their runners at this meeting since 2003…….
ALAN KING (90 runners, 11 winners 12%, 32 placed 36%): Okay, so not the best win strike-rate ever seen, but with around 36% of their last 90 GN Meeting runners getting placed then backing Alan King’s horses to hit the frame looks the way to go this week. With 48 winners so far this term then the yard is not having a great time of it, but they’ve still banked over £785,000 in prize money and with a good week up at Liverpool then that could increase further. Looking at their breakdown between hurdlers and chasers they do better over the bigger obstacles with 5 winners from their last 24 (21%) at the track, but be a bit wary of any NH Flat runners as they are currently 0-from14 in that sphere.
PETER BOWEN (54 runners, 6 winners 11%, 18 placed 33%): A very similar profile to the Alan King yard with not the best win %, but a lot better place strike-rate. However, what does set them apart is their +£62 level stakes profit with their winners at this meeting. I guess not being one of the more fashionable yards then their runners can often go under the radar, while it goes without saying to look out for Always Waining whichever race he ends up in. He loves the Grand National-style fences having won the last three renewals of the Topham and is once again entered in Friday’s race, but is also still in the Grand National at this stage. Finally, make a note of any NH Flat runners as they are currently 4 from 14 (29%) at the track and boast a +£38 level stakes profit too.
GORDON ELLIOT (18 runners, 3 winners 17%, 4 placed 22%): Obviously landed the 2007 Grand National with Silver Birch so knows exactly what it takes to get one prepared for the big one. At this stage he’s still got four in the race – Chicago Grey, Backstage, Tarquinius and Romanesco, with the first-named looking his leading hope. Like the Bowen camp they also have a decent level stakes profit (+£46), so don’t be afraid to back any of their runners at a price. In the last 5 years they’ve only had one NH Flat runner at the course, but that was a winner, while despite having won the National they are in fact currently 0-from-11 with their chasers overall at the Liverpool venue.
JONJO O’NEILL (108 runners, 16 winners 15%, 37 placed 37%): Took the National with Don’t Push It in 2010 and although it was heart break for the yard with Synchronised 12 months ago they did also have the runner-up, Sunnyhillboy. He’s well-fancied again in the betting, but is 10lbs higher this time. With a decent 37% of their last 108 runners at this meeting placed then having a saver each-way on Jonjo’s runners has paid it’s way, plus with a +£33 level stakes profit with their winners then Jonjo supporters have also had a good time too. His recent 5 year record suggests he does better with his chasers than hurdlers, while is currently 0-from-7 with his NH Flat runners.
NICKY RICHARDS (35 runners, 4 winners 11%, 16 placed 46%): Monet’s Garden was a big flag-bearer for the team in recent years at this course, but with just under 50% of their last 35 runners at the Grand National Meeting hitting the frame then it could pay to follow anything they run each-way. If we do drill into the stats then a lot of this success did come a while ago, as remember these figures go back to 2003. In the last 5 years their overall Aintree track stats are not that impressive with just 2 winners from their last 33 runners – they both came with their chasers.
MOUSE MORRIS (13 runners, 1 winner (8%), 6 placed 46%): A bit like some of the other stables featured here their winning strike-rate doesn’t leap off the page, but with 6 of their last 13 runners at this meeting being placed then that stat certainly does catch the eye. At this stage they might not have many runners with just First Lieutenant (Bowl) and Baily Green (Maghull) entered, but both ran excellent races at Cheltenham last time (both finished 2nd) and should be on the shortlist if they make the trip over. They are also having one of their best seasons over in Ireland and need just one more winner to make this their best yet in terms of numbers, but with over £300k banked in total prize money then no matter what happens for the rest of the campaign that is their best ever money haul.
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