The Grand National is the most watched horse race of the year, with millions tuning in to see who the latest winner will be.

Even those who do not gamble for the rest of the year are likely to have a flutter on the National, with thousands making their selections based on the name of the horse, the colours of the jockey’s silks, their favourite number and other factors.

With five horses so far having won with odds of 100/1, anything goes at Aintree, and some years one selection is as good as another, whatever the odds. If you don’t have such a system however, this guide will help you work out who to bet on Grand National day.

Horse Racing betting

Check out the people form

Checking on the form of the horses is the first thing most experienced bettors will do, but on Grand National day, check on the form of the people involved too. Look for repeat winners among the jockeys and especially the trainers.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, for example, has had two winners in the Grand National in the past 20 years and over a thousand winners of National Hunt races since 1982. Jockey Leighton Aspell has ridden the winning horse for the past two years in a row and would make history if he were able to come back and make it three this year.

Look for hidden trends

Statistics can help work out how likely it is that certain horses will win or place in the upcoming Grand National. Identifying trends and using these to make your selections might just give you that edge. Here are a few of the statistics to date:

  • 23 of the last 24 Grand National winners had already raced on at least three occasions in the current season
  • 9 of the last 10 winners had won or placed in at least one race already that season
  • 9 and 10-year old horses win more Grand Nationals than any other age group
  • Since 1952, 68% of the winners were priced at 20/1 or less
  • However, over the same time period only 11% of winners were priced as the favourite
  • The last 10 winners had previously won a race worth more than £17,000
  • The last 10 winners had previously won a race over 3 miles

It used to be thought that weight was a crucial factor, with very few winning horses weighted at 11.0 or more, but in recent years this trend has turned. 6 of the last 11 winners have been weighted at 11.0 or more, with the change being attributed to the race attracting a better standard of horse.

Applying these statistics to a bet won’t give you any guarantees, but it will give you a good chance of ensuring your bet is sound and your horse has a good chance. Get to grips with these numbers, and you can enjoy picking the horse that you think will emerge victorious.