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Grand National - Racing: Stats Guide

It's Grand National week and we are into the final countdown to Aintree's showpiece - the world's most recognisable jumps race.

On Saturday afternoon another chapter of Grand National folklore will be penned on Merseyside, with the big race due to go off at 17:15 UK time and you can watch it all via our Sports Live Streaming.

The last two renewals have brought historic results - Tiger Roll winning back-to-back renewals in 2019 and, after a hiatus in 2020, Rachael Blackmore steering Minella Times home 12 months ago.

It's the most watched horse race of the year and with even the most casual of racing fans eager to try and find the winner, we've put together some helpful stats, facts and trends that might lead you to the Grand National winner!

About the race

The Grand National is a Grade 3 handicap steeplechase, run over a distance of four-miles-two-and-a-half-furlongs with 30 jumping tests - including some of the most famous obstacles in the world, such as: The Chair, The Canal Turn, Becher's Brook and the Foinavon Fence.

Field Size

There is a maximum field size of 40 due to safety restrictions. The most runners came in 1929, when 66 went to post. In 1883, only 10 runners contested the race - the lowest on record. All 40 started in 2021.

Weights

Weight is everything in a Grand National. The last 20 renewals have seen the following weight categories succeeding: 10st 3lb-10st7lb (six wins), 10st8lb-10st13lb (eight wins), 11st-11st5lb (four wins), 11st 6lb-11st 10lb (two wins).

Experience

The least amount of chases previously contested by a Grand National winner in the last 28 years is ten; the number that applied to Minella Times (2021), One For Arthur (2017), Many Clouds (2015) and Numbersixvalverde (2006).

Six of the last 21 winners had run in the previous season's Grand National and 11 winners in the same time period had previously run in a race over the National Fences at Aintree - so course experience has often proved vital.

Reserves

Four reserves are included when the final field is declared 48 hours ahead of the race. The reserves have until 13:00 on the Friday to get in the race. Ten reserves have run, but as yet they have not won.

Shock winners

There have been five 100/1 winners of the Aintree showpiece: Mon Mome (2009), Foinavon (1967), Caughoo (1947), Gregalach (1929) and Tipperary Tim (1928).

Greys

The public are often drawn to grey horses, but only four have won the Grand National - The Lamb (1868 and 1871), Nicolaus Silver (1961) and Neptune Collonges (2012).

Mares

The Grand National has been won 13 times by mares in its history - though not since Nickel Coin all the way back in 1951, with Magic Of Light second in 2019 when Tiger Roll won his second National.

Being a grey mare, 10/1 chance Snow Leopardess would prove a very popular winner if Charlie Longsdon's charge can add to her Becher Chase win on Saturday.

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Cheltenham Festival prep

Ten Grand National winners since 1991 (Seagram, Miinnehoma, Rough Quest, Bindaree, Silver Birch, Don't Push It, Pineau De Re, Many Clouds and Tiger Roll in both wins) had run at the previous month's Cheltenham Festival.

Favourites' chance

There have been five winning favourites or joint-favourites since 1996 - they are Rough Quest (1996, 7/1), Earth Summit (1998, 7/1), Hedgehunter (2005, 7/1), Comply Or Die (2008, 7/1), Don't Push It (2010, 10/1) and Tiger Roll (2019, 4/1).

Leading owners

Red Rum's owner Noel Le Mare tasted glory three times in the 1970s, the first in the modern era to manage that feat.

More recently, the late Trevor Hemmings (Hedgehunter, 2005; Ballabriggs, 2011, Many Clouds, 2015) - a great supporter of this race - and Gigginstown House Stud (Rule The World, 2016; Tiger Roll, 2018, 2019) have bagged three wins each.

Though there's no Tiger Roll this time, Gigginstown have the likes of 8/1 Delta Work aiming for further success at Aintree.

Jockeys

The oldest jockey to have won is amateur Dick Saunders, who was 48 when scoring on Grittar in 1982, while the youngest winning jockey is Bruce Hobbs, just 17 when Battleship won in 1938.

Richard Johnson, who retired last year, rode in the National a record 21 times without winning, though he was twice second. AP McCoy was previously the man with the most appearances and no wins, before Don't Push It scored for the perennial champion jockey in 2010.

Of the current weighing room, Tom Scudamore has ridden in 19 Nationals and is winless.

Last year, Rachael Blackmore made history in becoming the first female rider to win the race, making headlines around the world when she did. She and Minella Times are 14/1 to repeat the feat this time.

Trainers

Nigel Twiston-Davies (Earth Summit, 1998; Bindaree, 2002) and Gordon Elliott (Silver Birch 2007; Tiger Roll 2018, 2019) are the only trainers currently holding a licence to have won the Grand National more than once.

The Naunton handler has 40/1 Good Boy Bobby as a contender in 2022, while Elliott's strong hand includes Delta Work and 11/1 Escaria Ten.

Hedgehunter in 2005 gave Willie Mullins his only win so far, with the Irish supremo having the likes of previous Irish National winner Burrows Saint at 20/1 in the mix this time.

Nicky Henderson has yet to win a Grand National in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland - despite achieving so much in stellar career.

His very first runner, Zongalero in 1979, is one of two runners-up for the master of Seven Barrows in the Aintree version from more than 40 runners. Caribean Boy, a 66/1 chance, carries Henderson's hopes in 2022.

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