The Grand National trends to keep an eye on

While recent performances are definitely a factor when trying to determine which horse to choose for the Grand National every April, there are many other variables worth considering if you want to make an educated decision.

Now with that being said, it’s easy to see why Corach Rambler is the favourite in the betting lines with those who bet on grand national, after the nine-year-old put forth a sublime display to narrowly best his opposition in the Ultima Handicap Chase. However, the Grand National is so unpredictable due to its length and the grit it requires to win – which is why a Corach Gambler triumph is far from a forgone conclusion.

Given how open this fixture proves to be every year, read on as we take a look at the trends of past winners and dissect how they could impact the five favourites’ claims in 2023’s edition.


Horses aged eight years or older have by far and away the best record, with just one horse under eight having won the Grand National in over 80 years. Amazingly, that sole victor was last year, with the Emmet Mullins-trained Noble Yeats defeating Any Second Now by two-and-a-quarter lengths to triumph as a seven-year-old.

That statistic bodes well for four of the five favourites in the betting lines, with the aforementioned Corach Rambler, Noble Yeats, Any Second Now and Delta Work all eight years or older. The only thoroughbred of the five favourites to not fit the trend is seven-year-old Gaillard Du Mesnil.

Career Form

12 of the past 14 victors won their maiden race, a trend that is only in the favour of Any Second Now – who won his opening fixture at Navan by two-and-a-quarter lengths in 2016. Contrast that with Noble Yeats’, Delta Work’s and Gaillard Du Mesnil’s debuts – who finished second, fourth and sixth respectively – while Corach Rambler was pulled up. 

Distance Form

Considered a must-have, the vast majority of Grand National winners had previously secured victories in fixtures run over three miles or longer.

All five favourites boast a win over that distance, with Corach Rambler’s Ultima Handicap Chase triumph, Delta Work’s Glenfarclas Chase win, Gaillard Du Mesnil’s National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase victory, Any Second Now’s Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase and Noble Yeats’ 2022 Grand National success arguably their most notable.

Irish Dominance

Not only do Irish-bred horses have the best overall record in Grand National history, they also have experienced recent success – with four of the last five winners hailing from the Emerald Isle. In addition to last year’s victor Noble Yeats, a further two of the five shortest priced thoroughbreds are Irish-bred (Corach Rambler and Any Second Now).

Delta Work and Gaillard Du Mesnil will be hoping to buck that trend and become the first French-bred horse to reign supreme in the Grand National since Pineau De Re achieved the feat in 2014. 


For those interested in placing a bet on one of the five horses featuring in this article, Corach Rambler is the favourite at 6/1, while Noble Yeats, Delta Work, Any Second Now and Gaillard Du Mesnil are next in the betting lines at 8/1, 10/1, 12/1 and 12/1 respectively.

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.


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