Which horse should you pick in the Grand National based on the ground conditions?

| March 10, 2020
Grand National
Tiger Roll looking for the first three-peat in Grand National history

The highlight of the UK horse racing calendar is rapidly approaching and all eyes are fixated on the 5.5/1 favourite Tiger Roll.

The nine-year-old, who last year emulated Red Rum’s back-to-back Grand National-winning record, is looking to eclipse the historic champion by producing the event’s first-ever three-peat.

The man in the pressured saddle, Davy Russell, will be praying for firm ground conditions at Aintree if he is to get Tiger Roll’s claws on a third straight National title.

Although the National Hunt legend is at his lowest rating when the ground is firm, at just 95, he would be higher rated in comparison to the other entrants, according to OLBG’s Grand National Winner Predictor tool.

Tiger Roll’s rating based on the ground:

Ground conditionTiger Roll RatingTop-rated horseDifference
Firm951005
Good to firm13814810
Good17118918
Good to soft19322018
Soft20624337
Heavy20925748

The ratings are based on current form, jumping ability, stamina, course experience, ground preference and also a minor adjustment for stable form.

The Gordon Elliott-trained thoroughbred would ideally want the going to be heavy if he is to produce his best performance, though seven other challengers would technically be rated higher going into the race.

The going of ground on the day of the race depends on the weather conditions in the days before. If rain saturates the ground, it is likely to be soft or heavy. Whereas, if the conditions are dry, it’s more likely to be good to firm or firm.

Hogan’s Height, a relative outsider at 50/1, would go into the race as the second-highest rated if the ground is firm, four ratings higher than the famous favourite.

In general, heavy ground is when you’re most likely to see a longshot winner, as it takes incredible stamina and only an average of eight horses will actually finish the race.

According to the predictor tool, the highest-rated runner on heavy ground is Potters Corner at odds of 25/1. Others who would stand a strong chance if it rains in the days preceding the National include 33/1 One for Arthur and 50/1 Taking Risks. 

Top-rated horses by ground condition:

Ground conditionTop HorseRatingOdds
FirmLe Breuil10025/1
Good to firmKimberlite Candy14820/1
GoodKimberlite Candy18920/1
Good to softKimberlite Candy22020/1
SoftPotters Corner24325/1
HeavyPotters Corner25725/1

If you’re wondering why Tiger Roll isn’t rated as the top horse in any condition, despite being a short odds favourite, it is most likely because he has only run three times in the last year, thus affecting his form ratings.

Try out the tool yourself and find the best value longshots in different conditions here: https://www.grand-national-guide.co.uk/winner-predictor.

Category: International

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