Richard Dunwoody: National notes
Richard Dunwoody looks ahead to the Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday in his latest column.
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With the Saturday racing only average this weekend I thought we'd skip ahead to Easter Monday and take a look at the Boylesports Irish Grand National - a race that still holds fond memories for me having won it back in 1990 on Dessie.
This year's race looks as competitive as ever so to help put a line through several of these then let's take a look at the key race trends and stats in recent years.
The weight carried has played a big part with ALL of the last 11 winners lumping just 10-12 or less to victory, while if you want to take that trend further you'll see that actually 10 of the last 11 carried only 10-8 or less and 8 of those only had 10-5 or less.
This year's race will be tight at the head of the betting, so unless there is a plunge we could even see the favourite go off at double-figures - 10 of the last 11 winners returned a double-figure price in the betting.
Next up is recent form - look for a horse that's raced in the last few months with 10 of the last 11 winners running 8 or less weeks ago, while the same amount came from outside the top three in the betting and had also won over at least 3m in the past.
Irish bred horses have been responsible for 9 of the last 11 winners, while 8 of the last 11 winners hailed form an Irish-based yard.
Look for horses that finished fourth or better last time out too as 7 of the last 11 fell into that bracket, plus in terms of age then horses aged 9 or younger have the best recent record - winning 8 of the last 11.
Applying these key trends will help based on recent past results, and the ones that stand out for me are - Golden Wonder, Tammys Hill and The Westener Boy - these will be my three against the field should they line-up come Monday.
Golden Wonder - Fourth last time out in a 19 runner handicap chase here so clearly handles the track. Only up a few pounds for that and being that was his first run since November we can expect him to come on for that too.
Tammys Hill - Course winner and landed the Foxhunters last time out at the Cheltenham Festival. Has run well the last three times he's raced at the track and looks on a fair mark still too.
The Westerner Boy - Should get in here with a light-weight and being only 7 years-old there should be more to come from Colm Murphy's horse. Another course winner who was second last time out at Navan over hurdles. That race was a nice prep for this with just 5 career runs over fences (placed three times) then he could run well with a lot of key trends on his side at a fair e/w price.
Irish Grand National Trends:
11/11 - Carried 10-12 or less in weight
10/11 - Came from outside the top three in the betting market
10/11 - Won over at least three miles before
10/11 - Priced a double-figure price in the betting
10/11 - Had run within the last eight weeks
10/11 - Carried 10-8 or less in weight
10/11 - Winning distance - five lengths or less
9/11 - Irish bred horse
9/11 - Carried 10-5 or less in weight
8/11 - Aged nine or younger
8/11 - Unplaced favourites
8/11 - Had raced at Fairyhouse before
8/11 - Won by an Irish-based stable
7/11 - Finished fourth or better in their last race
7/11 - Rated between 130-136
6/11 - Had raced within the last four weeks
3/11 - Raced at Navan last time out
3/11 - Won by an English-based trainer
2/11 - Won their last race
0/11 - Favourites
The average winning SP in the last 11 runnings is 25/1 - The last horse to win with more than 11st was Commanche Court (2000)