Most of the British public (of legal gambling of course!) will have had a bet, a flutter or a punt on a horse in the Grand National. Whether this is a straight win bet, each-way or in the work sweepstake, most of the general public believe in a number of principles, but for those of that are serious backers that make regular profits from horse racing betting, here are six myths to the Grand National the most people tend to believe are true.

The Grand National Is A Lottery
With some well-chosen trends analysis, statistics and comprehensive form study, most of the field can be eliminated and therefore bring those most likely to compete at the sharp end to the fore. Therefore, to reduce the field size and pick out the most likely contenders illustrates that it’s not a lottery. Most of the public don’t have the criteria to select the most likely contenders, which is why they believe this to be true.

Picking A Horse By Name Is More Worthwhile
Likened to number one above, picking by name is pure luck rather than judgement as people who do this have probably stumbled on one of those horses that deserves to be a contender based on analysis etc.

The Horses Ridden By The Well-known Jockeys Have The Best Chance
Top jockeys get the choice of the horse to ride from the trainer they are employed by. For example, Ruby Walsh is a stable jockey for Paul Nicholls, so the horse that Ruby Walsh decides to ride is perceived to have a better chance over the other Nicholls runners. This is another myth as the chances aren’t as clear cut. Last year was the first time a Paul Nicholls trained horse had actually won the big race but had Daryl Jacob on board, not Ruby Walsh. Our HorseSpy analysis showed that AP McCoy had picked the wrong horse last year when we chose Sunnnyhillboy as the better chance JP McManus’s horses, but AP chose the ill-fated Synchronised who never had a chance carrying his allocated weight.

The Aintree Fences Are Too Big, Which Accounts For Fallers
In the eyes of most trainers, the jumps are actually too small. The adrenaline of both horse and jockey means that they are travelling too fast to encounter the obstacles. Higher fences would slow the field down and probably reduce the number of accidents – and the trainers know this to be the truth. Unfortunately, the public believes the fences should be reduced, but that would mean an even faster cavalry charge and unfortunately more accidents. At some point, it will become the Grand National Hurdle race! When accidents happen at the speed they travel to the first 8 or so fences, which includes Becher’s and The Chair, it’s no wonder there are accidents.

Those That Finished Well Last Year Have Just As Good A Chance This Year
Weirdly, this has never been true apart from one horse – Red Rum. The weight that gets allocated to those that performed well in a previous year manages to scupper its chances of running just as well the next year. However, some do manage a place at best but it’s often a case of waiting until the following year for a better weight allocation. Black Apalachi showed this when finishing second to Ballabriggs a couple of years ago.

Cheltenham Winners Are Bound To Do Well At Aintree
Horses are like Olympic athletes where they are trained to peak at the major events. Most racehorses are at peak fitness for the Cheltenham Festival. Because of the demands of the races and the recovery that is needed afterwards, it’s only natural that a horse’s fitness is on a downward curve in the weeks following such a hard race. This is a reason as to why it’s extremely rare that a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner follows up by winning the Grand National. It’s always worth siding with horses that haven’t been trained with Cheltenham in mind, or that fell at the first fence without getting a run whilst at their peak. An example of this was illustrated a couple of years ago with a horse called General Miller who won at a decent price after falling at the first fence at Cheltenham Festival.

Hopefully, we’ve been able to show why some of these public beliefs of the Grand National are false and that it is a race that can be won with good analysis and understanding of the great race. Us at HorseSpy have picked 5 out of last 7 winners, including Mon Mome and Silver Birch at massive prices. Last year we picked three out of the first five finishers, but unfortunately, Sunnyhillboy lost by a nose to the unfancied Neptune Collonges that prevented our record from being 6 out of the last 7! Good luck with picking your selection in this year’s Grand National.

Lee Greenhill is a Horse Racing expert and the lead writer at Horsespy (, one of the leading websites providing guidance to become a professional gambler and how to be more successful at horse racing betting. A multi-time professional gambler, he leads the highly successful HorseSpy betting consortium. Get updates by following on Twitter @leegreenhill