Grand National 2017 Declarations

Pendra has been take out of the Grand National this morning which brings Doctor Harper into the current final 40.

Please add your tips and comments for the Grand National to this thread

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423 Responses to Grand National 2017 Declarations

  1. crisp73 says:

    Well done all winners and placers. A cracking race.

    I thought Blaklion was the one – held 60% of my stake money on the race and would have probably had all of it had it not been for the Kayf Tara question mark.

    One For Arthur – a cracking win for the Celts, long overdue! Thought his profile similar to Balla in some ways – the Becher was his ninth chase and the first time he contested a chase worth more than 16k – did what he needed to do to get in to the race and no more, he was only 5lbs above bottom weight on the day.

    Not sure about the ‘best when fresh’ tag. Looking through his form book he has won and raised his RPRs with much smaller gaps between races. There were only 6 weeks between his first run of the season and the Becher where he posted his then highest RPR and then 6 weeks before Warwick chase where he substantially raised his RPR figure – three chases, 79f in 12 weeks. That probably conditioned him and he didn’t need to run again. The 12 week gap had been done before both at Aintree and at Ayr.

    The state of the ground is vexing me. Did it dry out that much? The 25f h’cap chase, admittedly on the mildmay, was something like 16 seconds slower than standard. I thought that this would give hope to those with speed biased dosage – which it did with King OFA and COC – but the time suggests a truer run race. Looking at my collection of ‘rough’ sectional times in the GN I think there are only 3 or so winners in the last 49 GNs who were significantly quicker from 2nd Bechers to the finishing line. His time from 2nd Bechers to 2nd last fence has only been significantly bettered, on my rough times, by Mr Frisk and Rummy in 73. Both firm ground GNs.

  2. Party Politics says:

    Crisp – According to the Racing Post the going on the mildmay course was 0.45 seconds per furlong slow (Good to Soft in their opinion) and the National course was 0.30 seconds per furlong slow (Good in their opinion). They also say it was a new course record for the reduced distance of 4 miles 2 and half furlongs at 9 minutes 3.5 seconds.

  3. pablo says:

    Haven’t heard from JJF on here recently – hope you’re well and backed the Scottish horse

  4. Lescargot says:

    Hello all, well done to those that backed him. I couldn’t have backed him ( only as a mad saver/last minute panic bet, which I have done before and got the winner as a result!) but because of the strong DSLR stat , 84 days and stat and only 3 preps stat ( despite OFA winning with 3 preps there have still been only 3 winners with less than 4 preps in the last 27 years). I realise that OFA passes Daniel’s brilliant class 1 stat, but there were a lot that did, so I used the dslr stat and the dosage DI to whittle them down, and as a consequence didn’t back OFA as a mad last minute bet!.

    As a result I have some musings/questions on dosage relating to stamina. Please accept that my knowledge and understanding of Dosage is not as good as many on this site.I first came across the dosage when Nick Mordin started writing about in the then Sporting Life Weekender when he used it to assess the Derby, he had some success, but also some shocking failures . As the years rolled on, as we all know he started applying it to the GN, it was picked up and others applied it to other long distance chases and the Gold Cup. The general acceptance was that the Sire was the most important influence in stamina. However, I had read various opinion pieces that it was the Dam’s side and it was on here that I learned about CMP a couple of years ago. This brings me belatedly to my main point.

    The CMP range seems to be holding up, but I am confused about the DI and CD. How could OFA win the G/N with a DI of 1.86? ( according to ) How could Sizing John with a DI of 1.50 – CD 0.50 win the GC. I understand that the majority of GC winners have a DI under 1.00 and a CD in the minus range. How could Fox Norton win a class1 2.4 F with DI of 3.00 and Un De Sceaux win over 2.4f with a DI of 3.00.( I know he won over 2.4F plus in France on heavy but everyone was claiming that didn’t count as they go too slow, apart from the trainer). I also realise that Imperial Commander won a GC ( I backed him, but wouldn’t done if I had applied his t DI figure of 1.40, but he ran against two ailing horses in Denman and KS) . Maybe the above won because of sheer class, and I sometimes use total prize money won, divided by number of career runs to give a simple metric angle on class. But, the DI figure is baffling, what do people think?

    In terms of the G/N I have read here the post G/N ideas on the importance now of class 1 stamina and the first season run date, but I agree a new combination of stats is needed, maybe just based on the results since the changes. I know thats a small number but the old stats are being busted every year. Or as has been mooted, we should treat some busts as a one off/infrequent occurrence. Maybe the next 5 winners will all fall within the Neptune C changed stat of under 60 DSLR, maybe the next 5 winners will all have 4 preps or more. But, in danger of stating the ” bleeding obvious” to get next years shortlist down to a backable number we need some agreement, say on the 5 most influential stats for whittling down purposes.

    Any how hope this wasn’t too long and rambling.

  5. Lescargot says:

    I should have added on OFA he had a hurdle rating of 136 but a best top speed over hurdles of 84 and his 3 hurdles wins were class 3 and he was plunged into the Sefton against won by Thistlecrack and was pulled up.

  6. pablo says:

    I think there’s a danger in relying on only a handful of stats as ‘must-haves’

    The points-based systems are more likely to highlight the winner within say the top 10 each year because they forgive one or two poor scores but still focus on the fundamentals – long distance chase, lots of runners etc.

    It’s also perilous to ever consider that any system will last forever – this game just doesn’t work like that!

  7. daniel edwards says:

    Agree Corbs that this goes well fresh for Arthur simply isn’t backed up by the form.

    Sure, he has won first time out a couple of times, but they were low level races so it does not tell us much and it’s more likely they were simply races he should be winning. His prices for those races were low and there are other races he did not run that well in when ‘fresh’

    But clearly he went well fresh on Saturday when it mattered!

  8. pablo says:

    OFA’s connections had to do the same thing as PDR’s when their horses failed to improve their rating from the Becher (OFA ran well in the race, PDR fell) and that was to win a race in January before the weights were out

    Maybe after hacking up in the Warwick race, OFA was in a good place and just needed to be rested for a bit and then kept ticking over at home?

  9. daniel edwards says:

    Apologies it was Crisp not Corbiere who said that

  10. daniel edwards says:

    I have been looking at the system I have for trying to find the “perfect” horse each year and what returns that would make over the past 8 years (which is all the data I have at the minute).

    To recap, it selects horses which;

    1. Have placed in a C1 chase over 27f or more;

    2. Are aged 8-11;

    3. Have run in 4 or more chases that season;

    4. Have won a chase over 3 miles or more;

    5. Have a post weights run; and

    6. Have 9-17 chase runs.

    In the past 8 years it has thrown up 22 horses (so less than 3 a year on average) as follows:

    2010 – 2 horses

    2011 – 1 horse

    2012 – 2

    2013 – 2

    2014 – 4

    2015 – 6

    2016 – 3

    2017 – 2

    In those years it has produced the following results (where placed means a top 4 finish – there is at least one perfect horse that finished 5th too which would get you paid e/w most places, but I’ve stuck with 4 places for the sake of ease)

    2010 – Winner

    2011 – Placed

    2012 – Placed

    2013 – Placed

    2014 – Winner

    2015 – Winner AND placed

    2016 – Nothing

    2017 – Placed

    If you had £10 e/w on every horse that met the system in that time period, you would have generated the following returns/profits (based on the final SPs, which are of course subject to some upward or downward flux depending on when you back, who with etc.)

    2010 – £40 staked, returns £145 (£105 PROFIT)

    2011 – £20 staked, returns £32.50 (£12.50 PROFIT)

    2012 – £40 staked, returns £50 (£10 PROFIT)

    2013 – £40 staked, returns £35 (£5 LOSS)

    2014 – £80 staked, returns £332.50 (£252.50 PROFIT)

    2015 – £120 staked, returns £442.50 (£322.50 PROFIT)

    2016 – £60 staked, returns £0 (£60 LOSS)

    2017 – £40 staked, returns £50 (£10 PROFIT)

    Totals – £440 staked – £1087.50 returned – £647.50 Profit

    (Yearly Average – £55 staked – £136 returned – £81 Profit)

    So basically, in the years where you get one placed, you roughly break even. Where you get the winner, you are quids in (without needing to back heaps of horses) and where you get nothing (unsurprisingly) you lose out (but for small amounts).

    Challenge for the summer – Can anybody else devise a system using entirely objective stats that can better those returns to level stakes?

    I hope so!

  11. daniel edwards says:

    Second part of the challenge…

    See if you can find another stat that knocks out those who didn’t get placed, but doesn’t rule out the ones that did!


    In 2017 we had VICENTE to try and rule out (without taking out BLAKLION)

    In 2014 we have to knock out Monbeg Dude and Raz Da Maree, without touching PDR

    (data corrupted for 2015, job for summer to update it!)

    2013 take out Viking Blond (but not tea for three)

    2012, synchronised but not sunnyhillboy

    2010, Beat the Boys but not Don’t Push It

    Over to you guys!

  12. Supersub says:

    pablo says:
    April 11, 2017 at 11:09 am

    I think there’s a danger in relying on only a handful of stats as ‘must-haves’

    The points-based systems are more likely to highlight the winner within say the top 10 each year because they forgive one or two poor scores but still focus on the fundamentals – long distance chase, lots of runners etc.

    It’s also perilous to ever consider that any system will last forever – this game just doesn’t work like that!
    pablo, my system was a combination of must have stats and a points based system and over the past three years it has broken down completely.

    In a nutshell, there were fourteen stats in total which included six that were must-haves/100% (seven for Irish trained runners because of the hurdles run stat). On my system (which worked year upon year until 2013) you had to pass all six (or seven) of the 100% stats and score an overall total of at least twelve to make the shortlist.

    This shortlist varied in size from five in a good year to ten in a bad one, but it always contained the winner.

    In the past five years four of the seven 100% stats have gone. Auroras Encore broke the stat about a top three placing in one of your last four runs. Rule The World broke the stat for Irish trained runners having a hurdles prep and the requirement for a Class 1 or Class 2 chase win. One For Arthur broke the run needed since publication of the weights stat.

    The only 100% stats that remain will only eliminate a handful of runners, making them virtually redundant. The first is the requirement to have run off a rating of 136. Nowadays anything with a rating that low won’t get in although OFA had only run off a rating of 137 prior to Saturday. This stat didn’t eliminate any runners this year.

    The next stat is the aged 8-12 stat. Again this will only eliminate a small number of seven year olds.

    The final stat is the need to have won over at least three miles. Don’t have my paperwork at hand but I think this only eliminated Ucello Conti and Cocktails at Dawn.

    In the past three years the total number of stats met by the winner reduced to 11/14 in 2015 and 2016 to a mere 9/14 this year. It had always been at least 12/14 prior to that.

    Every horse that ran on Saturday scored at least 8/14 and 32/40 scored 9/14 or greater.

    Sorry for the long winded reply but as you can see using my stats based approach there was no way you could devise a workable shortlist whether you were using must-haves or the points based approach.

    Any system is only worthwhile if you are producing a shortlist of ten runners or less. At the moment the stats based approach does not seem able to do this.

    I’m sure there are still stats that as a collective on here we can bring together to help generate a workable shortlist. The problem I’m having is trying to find what those stats are!

  13. daniel edwards says:


    At the risk of repeating myself, see my post just above!

    Some solid stats for you there if you can accept you won’t get the winner every year but in the long run it will do you pretty darn well…

  14. Supersub says:

    daniel, I’m very impressed by your returns it does show that your system is definitely there or thereabouts.

    However, if I was being picky, from a statistical perspective it has only hit 3/8 winners which illustrates the difficulty we have in trying to devise a system that can reliably find the winner.

    That said, if you’d had £10 win on all your qualifiers you would return a level stakes profit of £490 over the period so nobody can argue with that.

  15. admin says:

    I have just opened up a new thread for the 2018 race.

    If you want to add thoughts for that then please add to that thread whilst continued analysis of the 2017 race can continue on this thread please.

  16. Supersub says:

    daniel, I’ve just had another look at your system and think it’s a very good starting point as it produces a genuine shortlist which is what you need.

    I’ll have a close look at my system when I get home tonight to see if I can unearth some useful tweaks to it.

  17. daniel edwards says:

    Thanks Supersub

    Re: ‘only’ 3/8. If someone can find a more reliable system that produces more winners from even twice as many winners I would love to hear it. Genuinely! See my post above

    Also I’d be quite happy getting 3 from 8 with less than 3 horses a year to back, but each to their own! It’s certainly better than our record as a group in that time!

  18. daniel edwards says:

    Sorry, from even twice as many runners, that should say

  19. daniel edwards says:

    You’re right though, as it stands you would have a better return just hacking to win

    BUT personally I prefer to back ew as you get more consistent returns rather than a feast or famine situation!

  20. Supersub says:

    daniel edwards says:
    April 11, 2017 at 3:17 pm
    Second part of the challenge…

    See if you can find another stat that knocks out those who didn’t get placed, but doesn’t rule out the ones that did!


    In 2017 we had VICENTE to try and rule out (without taking out

    One of my stats, which prior to this year was 25/26, is they must have a top 3 placing in their last four runs.

    This stat was the only one passed by Blaklion but failed by Vicente.

    It is now 26/27 so could be worth considering as an addition as it does show that a horse has shown some recent form which is surely preferable.

  21. daniel edwards says:

    Thanks Supersub

    I’ll look into it

  22. crisp73 says:

    I don’t use any part of dosage on it’s own, I try to use it as part of profile- CMP also- and for me it usually points me in the right direction. In situations like last Saturday it might be very useful for those who bet ‘in racing’. Sizing John used his speed in the GC as OFA did in the GN. Both dosages highlighted that speed in their make up. I’d be very curious to see CMPs of GN winners pre 1990 and Paddy Power(old Mackeson) winners if anybody has them. Much obliged.

    I think OFA was the first winner since Earth Summit who won a UK 28f+ h’cap chase in the same season or in the last two seasons up to weights day.

    My analysis thus far;

    1) For me – going forwards – GN winners are falling in to two camps; a year before their win they have already posted an eyecatching performance in their GN winning season.

    1 year before (not necessarily achieved in the year before);
    Red Alligator, 3rd GN and 28f+ chases
    Highland Wedding, won 2 Eiders
    Gay Trip, 2nd RSA when it was GC distance
    Specify, won Mildmay h’cap at Chelt Fest, won at 24f
    Red Rum74, won GN
    L’escargot, 2nd GN
    Red Rum77, won GN
    Rubstic, 2nd Scottish National and 28f+ chases
    Ben Nevis, won 2 Maryland Hunt Cups
    Aldaniti, 2nd Scottish National
    Grittar, won Aintree/Chelt hunter chases
    Hallo Dandy, 4th GN and 28f+ chases
    Last Suspect, 3rd Irish National
    West Tip, won 25f Chelt Fest h’cap and equivalent of now C2/C3 28f+chases
    Rhyme N Reason, won Irish National
    Little Polveir, won Scottish National
    Mr Frisk, 3rd Hennessy
    Miinnehoma, 3rd Welsh National
    Royal Athlete, won 28f Cheltenham ‘November’ h’cap chase
    Earth Summit, won Scottish National
    Bobbyjo, won Irish National
    Papillon, 2nd Irish National
    Montys Pass, 2nd Topham
    Amberleigh House, Becher winner/3rd GN
    Hedgehunter, placed in Hennessy/Welsh National
    Numbersixvalverde, won Irish National
    Silver Birch, won Becher/Welsh National
    COD, placed in Hennessy
    Mon Mome, 2nd Welsh National
    Ballabriggs, won Kim Muir
    Neptune Collonges, 3rd GC
    Auroras Encore, 2nd Scottish National
    Rule The World, 2nd Irish National

    come to the fore in GN winning season (some might argue they posted a potential GN eyecatching performance the year before)

    Well To Do – 3rd in what was the annual C2? 4miler at Cheltenham in January(see also Seagram) and also just found out he won the fore runner of the Warwick classic (OFA) just before new years eve in GN winning season (sorry Miinnehoma!)
    Red Rum73 – won something like 5 chases 24f+ in a row, 2nd Haydock GN trial
    Rag Trade – won Welsh National (did win Midlands Nat in 75 I think)
    Lucius – several wins and places at 24f (never went near a spring festival)
    Corbiere – won Welsh National (had been placed in RSA)
    Maori Venture – 3rd Hennessy
    Seagram – won 4miler at Cheltenham in January/ 25f+ Chelt Fest
    Party Politics – placed Hennessy/Welsh Nat
    Rough Quest – placed Hennessy/GC
    Lord Gyllene – 2nd Midlands National, won at 34f.
    Red Marauder – 5th Hennessy/4th Paddy Power GC
    Bindaree – placed in Hennessy/Welsh Nat
    Don’t Push It – 2nd 28f Cheltenham ‘November’ h’cap chase
    Pineau De Re – 3rd Pertemps Network h’cap hurdle Chelt Fest (did win C3 28f h’cap chase year before)
    Many Clouds – won Hennessy
    One For Arthur – won Warwick classic

    2) All five of ‘new’ GN winners have been on a higher h’cap chase mark than their last winning one or previous best h’cap chase performance-
    AE +3 (won off OR139 3 years previously)
    PDR +10
    MC +9
    RTW +7 (2nd Irish Nat OR141)
    OFA +11

    3) All five of ‘new GN winners had ran at least ten times in last two seasons

    4) 3+ preps in winning season – still a good yardstick – Aldaniti was a fairytale/Miinne won in a bog -without any faeries or mud we’re alright. A points based system would give something extra to 4plus.

    5) With everything running of it’s h’cap mark it appears that weight is still a burden in the GN- now I am indulging myself – I don’t think NC or MC would have won without weight compression –
    Papillon +12lbs above bottom weight
    Bindaree +4
    Montys +6
    Amberleigh +10
    Hedgehunter +10
    No6 +4
    Silver +4
    COD +2
    Mon Mome +9
    DPI +14
    Balla +14
    *Sunnyhillboy +5 (runner up)
    PDR +5
    *Saint Are +4 (runner up)
    RTW +4
    OFA +6

    no compression this year, has it been confined to the dustbin?

    6) RPR>GNOR5 in last 8 chases. Only Balla, 4, has had less than RPR>GNOR5 since 1991.

    This year I think 9 runners had 3 or less ….


    7) ‘Miinne’s’ 2 runs by weights day – all of the first 5 home had this


    8) ‘New’ GN winners – 16+ chase/hurdle runs/ 5+ wins

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