Grand National Tips 2018 – 3.25pm – Betway Aintree Hurdle Grade 1 (Class 1) (4yo+) 2m 4f shown on ITV
First run in 1976 over 2 miles 5½ furlongs the race was shortened to its current distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs in 1988. Traditionally the Aintree Hurdle was run on Saturday but was moved to the Thursday in 2013.
Jockeys have to negotiate 11 hurdles during the race and the most successful horse in the history of the event is Morley House who was successful four years running between 1990 and 1993. Monksfield won the race over its former distance three years in a row between 1977 and 1979. Al Eile also won the race three times over a four year period between 2005 and 2008.
Many very famous names have won the event over the years including Night Nurse, Dawn Run, Istabraq and Rhinestone Cowboy.
There are some interesting and in some cases contradictory statistics around the race.
- Look for younger horses as all of the last 15 winners were aged 8 or younger.
- The betting appear to be a fairly reliable guide to the winner with 12 of the last 15 winners returned at odds of 6/1 or less.
- Unsurprisingly current Cheltenham Festival form is crucial with 11 of the last 15 winners having run at The Festival.
- Good recent form is also a very good guide as 11 of the last 15 winners finished in the first four on their last run, although only 4 of the last 15 winners actually won last time out.
- Previous Aintree winning form can also be a pointer towards the winner with 9 of the last 17 winners having won at the Grand National meeting previously.
- Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle form can be a mixed blessing as although 9 of the last 15 winners ran in the race previously only 1 runner up has won the race in the last 17 renewals.
- If you fancy a British-trained runner for the Aintree Hurdle, running at last month’s Festival is a must, as every British-trained winner of the event ran at The Festival in the same season.
- Irish trained horses dominated at this year’s Festival and this is reflected in the Aintree Hurdle with 8 Irish-trained winners in the last 15 renewals but with only 2 Irish winners in the last 8 renewals perhaps the trend is changing – at least in the Aintree Hurdle.
- Finally, Ruby Walsh has win the race 5 times since 2002 and Barry Geraghty has won three times since 2011 including riding Buveur d’Air to victory last year.
Based on the statistics the most likely winner if the race is Supasundae.
However, as he is likely to go off as the odds on favourite it might be worth looking at horses who ticked most of the statistics. The New One will be well fancied and with the going currently forecast as Good to Soft, Soft in places on the hurdle course, he certainly has plenty of form. However, he has tended to come up short when running in Grade 1 company.
Similar comments can be made about L’Ami Serge who did win a Grade 1 in Auteuil as recently as June last year. However, his form this season has not been great, but at his current price of 6/1 could represent some value.
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