Aintree Festival Stat Pack

Aintree Festival stats and trends

Aintree Festival stats and trends

In this post, I thought I’d craft together some hopefully material facts and figures about Aintree’s Grand National meeting. They’re all designed help you profit from some spectacular racing and, with quality fields galore, we may need all the help we can get.

Aintree Grand National Meeting Trainers to Note

Some surprising findings with regards to trainers, as the champions elect of both Britain and Ireland are massive ‘swerve’ material when it comes to this meeting. Indeed, in the last five years, Messrs Mullins and Nicholls have saddled 166 horses, with just twelve winning (7%). Worse still, Mullins is actually 0-33!

To the list of negative trainers we can add some more high profile names. For instance, how about Grand National-winning trainer Donald McCain? He’s sure to be talked about as a result of the exploits of Ballabriggs (and, of course, his late father, Ginger, trainer of Red Rum and Amberleigh House). But he’s had just three winners from 59 Aintree National meeting runners in the last five seasons. That’s worth a minus of 36.75 points, or a 62.3% negative ROI. Ouch.

And then there’s Venetia Williams, another darling of the Grand National soundbite thanks to her 100/1 winner, Mon Mome, the first French-bred to win the big race for exactly a hundred years. Anyway, that’s why they’ll be talking to her, and talking up her horses’ chances. But the reality is that since 2009, that was Venetia’s only Aintree April winner, despite having saddled forty nags. Moreover, just four even made the frame.

On the plus side, Peter Bowen has a reputation for being an Aintree winner, and it’s well earned. He’s scored four times in the last five years and, though three of them were with the brilliant Always Waining, he also banged in 28/1 scorer, Big Time Billy.

Jonjo O’Neill is another positive, with his National winner, Don’t Push It headlining a record of five winners from 42 runners. A further eleven placed horses gives him a place strike rate of 38% and makes him a placepotter’s pal.

Alan King rounds out my hat-trick of hero handlers, with seven winners from his 49 runners in the past five seasons at this meeting. He too can boast a supporting cast of eleven placed horses for a 37% place record and is also awarded placepotter’s pal status.



Aintree Grand National Meeting Jockeys to Note

So if those are the noteworthy trainers – for whatever reason – then who are the noteworthy jockeys? The one name to stand out is Barry Geraghty. Although he’s only recorded an SP profit of 4.40 points, he’s ridden 14 winners from 71 mounts, which is better than 20%. A further seven places gives him a 30% win/place strike rate.

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Paul Carberry’s three wins and three places from eighteen rides, puts him on the positive list; while Choc Thornton’s relationship with Alan King has earned him a place on the plus list via six wins and ten further places from 36 rides. How many of King’s horses he’ll ride this week remains to be seen, but he clearly knows the way home and might be interesting on ‘outside’ offerings.

On the downside, Aidan Coleman is nursing a 0 from 37 record largely due to his connection to Venetia Williams (and he chose the wrong one when Mon Mome won the National – ouch!). Just two places from those rides makes for a lamentable record, despite Coleman being an excellent jockey.

Likewise, Jason Maguire is a fine rider, and ditto, his relationship with Donald McCain has contributed towards a negative expectation of his mounts. I don’t suppose he’ll mind given that he’s a National winner, courtesy of the guv’nor’s Ballabriggs, but he only has one other winner from 49 starts on his palmarès.



Horses for Meetings?

We’ve looked at trainers and jockeys, so what about the horses? Always Waining was a three-time winner at the Grand National meeting, all of them in the Topham, but with him now retired, what other possibles are there for us to look to? And what is the record of past winners anyway?

Incredibly, looking at horses that had previously won at Aintree, they were able to win again at this meeting 24 times from 239 starts (10%) for a profit at SP of 137.36 points. Even allowing for the 100/1 victory of Mon Mome, that still equates to a profit of 37.36 points. In the same year as Mon Mome (2009), Culcabock was a 66/1 repeat scorer.

Whilst 2011 and 2012 were negative years on this angle, last year there were seven repeat scorers from 53 to try, and they were worth nigh on 50 points of profit.

Each way backers would hit the frame 29% of the time with this approach, and benefit to the tune of 169 points. Focusing solely on horses priced 5/1 or up (i.e. an each way price), there were twelve winners and 31 places from 197 starters, for a profit of 180.90 points, at a 22% each way clip.


[Above stats courtesy of]


Cheltenham, yes or no?

So what about a run at Cheltenham? Does it matter? And if it does, is it a positive or a negative?

The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is that a run at Cheltenham can be seen as a positive. ‘Surprisingly’ because it’s often considered that Aintree is ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’ of Cheltenham, and that horses are ‘over the top’ by now.

But the data suggests that simply blindly backing Cheltenham Festival runners at Aintree’s Grand National meeting would have yielded a profit at Betfair SP.


[Above stats courtesy of]

There is a further theory about horses that had a hard race at Cheltenham, usually expressed as those that finished in the frame. In fact, the converse is true in quite a startling way. Looking only at those Cheltenham Festival runners that finished 1-2-3 at the Festival, their performance at Aintree is little short of stellar.


[Above stats courtesy of]

With a strike rate of almost one in four, and a profit at SP of 63 points (91 points at Betfair SP), this is probably the best Aintree system ever – and the simplest! Unfortunately, it does come with a downside warning: two of the five years were unprofitable, and going back to 2006, three of the years were unprofitable (although one of those was just over break even at Betfair SP).

Nevertheless, you’re unlikely to go too far wrong using this as a starting point.

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