Grand National 2010: Is a run at the Cheltenham Festival a negative?

A large number of the horses left entered in the Grand National 2010 ran at the Cheltenham Festival – do you feel that a horse running an ultra competitive meeting three weeks before the Grand National is a positive or a negative?

Of the last ten winners of the Grand National just two have run at the Cheltenham Festival before going on to win at Aintree:

2007 Silver Birch 2nd Cross Country

2002 Bindaree 7th William Hill

Is this somewhat surprising? Should we, therefore, be moving towards horses who haven’t had a run at the Festival.

If we go back to the previous ten runnings of the Grand National the stats start to look a little better for Cheltenham runners:

1996 Rough Quest 2nd Gold Cup

1994 Miinnehoma 7th Gold Cup

1991 Seagram 1st Ritz Club (Now William Hill)

1990 Mr Frisk 4th Kim Muir

So, do you take a Cheltenham run into consideration when making your selections for Aintree? It would seem that the proximity of the meetings may not be the reason that horses may not perform as well as expected (for example, Mon Mome ran in the Midlands National after the Cheltenham Festival last year) but perhaps it is that connections have one eye on Cheltenham and one eye on Aintree rather than focusing totally on the Grand National.

So, has the following Grand National Horses runs at Cheltenham been a plus or minus for the likes of The Package, Niche Market and Tricky Trickster? Let us know what you think.

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6 Responses to Grand National 2010: Is a run at the Cheltenham Festival a negative?

  1. Daniel Edwards says:

    This must be a big juicy carrot for you Crisp? Can you resist posting??

  2. Corum says:

    I would of thought it depends on how much effort the horse has put into the race.

  3. Gammers says:

    Purely on the stats I don’t think a Cheltenham run is necessarily a bad thing. I think its 19/20 that had their final prep run between 20-49 days before the National, so with the Gold Cup 22 days before (and incidentally the Midlands Nat 21 before) I don’t think I would rule a horse out for a run at Chelts.

    A lot would depend on the individual horse and its record when turning out quickly vs racing fresh. For example State of Play is always quoted as being a horse who runs best fresh (ok, so he PU’d first time out this season, but thats the general understanding) so an appearance at Cheltenham would have been a worry; whereas for some horses 2 races a month won’t impair performance.

    Also much depends on how hard a race they have, and also whether that Cheltenham race is the prime target, such that the horse has been prepared to run at its maximum, or whether the trainer has left something to work on, and is using the race as a genuine pipe opener (a worrying thought if Mon Mome has more to come…)

    So I’ll stop rambling and come to the point – I don’t think a Cheltenham run can systematically rule out a horse’s chance, but consideration should be taken of their exertions in the race, and as to whether their prime target was the Chelts race or the National.

  4. Neil S says:

    Thanks Admin, did start this on the main thread Grand National tips 2010 (9), but pleased to see it have its own thread as it’s an important issue.

    In the past decade the was two cheltenham festival runners and previous decade four. In fact pick any decade and the will be a few Grand National winners who ran at the festival, on top off me head 1982 Grittar (Gold Cup), 1967 Foinavon (Gold Cup) and even in the 1930′s Golden Miller (Multi Gold Cup winner).

    Is a run a bad thing well Gammers hit the nail on the head with the distances between the two meetings.

    Mon Mome (2009 winner ran instead in the Midlands National 21 days before finishing 57 lengths 8 of 15 to Russian Tiger (last to finish) race report say he found top weight too much burden.

    My conclusion was it was no easier than if he had gone to cheltenham, which was is route this year.

    Comply Or Die did go to cheltenham last year as he did this year and 7 lengths of 21 to the ill fated witcha linesman on the first day the William Hill (10 March) 25 days before, however when he won it back in 2008 his last race was the Eider on the 23rd Feb, some 42 days before (feb that year having 29 days).

    Conclusion Comply Or Die did win an eighteen runner affair albeit a class 2 race but six weeks rest should have been enough to recover.

    Silver Birch went but the cross country, no disrespect here as to be one of the easier races, (I can here a few shouting at me with that remark), the hardest thing there is knowing the route. Silver Birch has upto today ran three times at Aintree falling twice and winning in 2007 (the forgotten horse) because he was fav the previous year then sent off 33/1 (I got 46/1 on betfair, lucky me).
    That year the was 32 days between the two runs. The was something like 4 weeks between the festival then, and this might have been reflected by someone on here at the time, (don’t know myself because I hadn’t discovered the blog then).

    The year before it was Numbersix-( I am not a number, I am free man)-Valverde. Thats a quote from ” The Prisoner” me and my warped sense of humour, anyway Information is what you want. You won’t get it, Lol (another line from Prisoner) sorry.

    To quote Kenneth Williams (from Carry On Films ) ” Stop, mucking about.”

    Numbersix ran in an hurdle race at Naas roughly same time as the festival finishing a respectable 12 lengths 3rd of 14 some 27 days earlier.

    Hedgehunter won the 2005 event and he previously went off to fairyhouse for the bobbyjo race (the same route taken by Vic Venturi and Black Apalachi) some 49 days before. This is the same number of days between the two races this year and the limit for the stats which everyone on here uses the infamous or is that famous 30/30 stats.
    Hedgehunter finished second to Numbersix the following year and this time via the Cheltenham Festival where he finished 2nd in the Gold Cup to War Of Attrition, with only 22 days rest.

    Yet to study the other half of the decade, but early results say that wether you take the cheltenham route or not the final prep run should be 3-7 weeks before the big day, no doubt I’ll find this out with the second half of the decade too.

  5. I don’t see how it’s possible to argue Mon Mome’s run in the Gold Cup has done him harm. He’s clearly being trained to peak for the grand national and his game third in a very competative race just shows what a great horse he is. Mark my words, he’ll romp home at Aintree.

  6. Me6 says:


    Hope that helps.