2018 Haydock Grand National Trial Betting Trends & Free Tips

Haydock Grand National Trial Trends

The Grade Three Grand National Trial Chase is staged at Haydock racecourse each year and provides racing fans with further clues ahead of the Grand National. That said, the race is all but a trial in name as since 1980 we’ve not seen a winner of the Betfred Grand National Trial follow-up that season in the Aintree marathon –  Suny Bay, the 1997 winner, did go onto finish second at Liverpool in the National. The 2005 winner, Forest Gunner, went onto run a respectable fifth, while last season we saw the David Pipe-trained Vieux Lion Rouge win this trial before going onto finished a respectable sixth in the Grand National a few months later.

Here at JUICESTORM we look back at recent winners and gives you the key stats to take in the 2018 renewal – this year set to be run on Saturday February 17th.

Recent Haydock Grand National Trial Winners

2017 – VIEUX LION ROUGE (8/1)
2016 – BISHOPS ROAD (13/2)
2015 – LIE FORRIT (8/1)
2013 – WELL REFRESHED (9/2 fav)
2012 – GILES CROSS (4/1 fav)
2011 – SILVER BY NATURE (10/1)
2010 – SILVER BY NATURE (7/1)
2009 – RAMBLING MINSTER (18/1)
2008 – MIKO DE BEAUCHENE (17/2)
2007 – HELTORNIC (12/1)
2006 – OSSMOSES (14/1)
2005 – FOREST GUNNER (12/1)
2004 – JURANCON II (10/1)
2003 –  SHOTGUN WILLY (10/1)

Haydock Grand National Trial Betting Trends

15/15 – UK-based trained winners
15/15 – Had won between 2-4 times over fences (rules) before
13/15 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
13/15 – Finished in the top three last time out
13/15 – Had won just 2 or 3 times over fences (rules) before
12/15 – Aged 10 or younger
11/15 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
11/15 – Aged 9 or younger
11/15 – Finished in the top two last time out
11/15 – Rated 135 or higher
10/15 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
9/15 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
9/15 – Carried 11-0 or less
8/15 – Won last time out
7/15 – Unplaced favourites
7/15 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Grand National (all unplaced)
6/15 – Irish-bred winners
4/15 – Winners that won by exactly 15 lengths
4/15 – Ran in the Welsh Grand National last time out
3/15 – Won with 11-12 in weight
3/15 – Finished 1st or 2nd in the Welsh Grand National last time out
3/15 – Trained by Lucinda Russell
2/15 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 15 runnings is 10/1


The Grade Three Haydock Grand National Trial – this year run on Saturday 17th – is really a trial in name only as we’ve yet to see a winner land both races. Yes, the mighty Red Rum took this race in 1975, but that was one of the years the National eluded the great horse.

Suny Bay, the 1997 winner, did go onto finish second at Liverpool in the National though, while the 2005 winner – Forest Gunner – went onto run a respectable fifth. Last season we also saw the David Pipe-trained Vieux Lion Rouge win this trial before going onto finished a respectable sixth in the Grand National a few months later so it’s still a race to look back on come April.

So, what are the main trends to take into the race?

With ALL of the last 15 winners hailing from UK-based yards then the Irish stables tend to avoid this one, but with three wins since 2010 then last year’s Grand National winning yard of Lucinda Russell is always one to note.

Trainers David Pipe, Kerry Lee, Venetia Williams, Gary Moore, Paul Nicholls, Michael Scudamore and Nigel Twiston-Davies are also winners of this race since 2001 so if having runners command respect too.

It goes without saying horses with proven for over 3m+ have done well in the past, but it’s slightly more interesting that ALL of the last 15 winners had only won between 2-4 times previously over fences. This suggests the and-and-coming younger horses are worth a second glance.

This is backed-up with 15 of the last 20 winners aged 9 or younger, while the last horse aged older than 11 to win was way back in 1958. With 9 of the last 12 winners were aged between 7-9 years-old this is the clear age bracket to focus on.

Also look for horses coming here off the back of a good recent run, as 13 of the last 15 (87%) winners were placed in the top three in their most recent outing. While if you want to take this particular trend a step further then 11 of the last 15 winners actually finished first or second last time out!

11 of the last 15 winners had also raced in the last seven weeks and were rated 135 or higher, while 67% of the last 15 winners came from outside the top three in the betting market.

With just two winning favourites in the last 15 years too then it’s been a race for the bookmakers in recent years and with 60% of the last 15 winners returning a double-figure price then don’t be afraid to take on the more fancied runners.

Looking at weight carried, then with 9 of the last 15 winners lumping 11-0 or less to victory this is another fairly strong trend to note. However, also be aware that we’ve also seen 3 of the last 15 winners carry a massive 11-12 to victory to suggest the top-weights shouldn’t be overlooked either.

Horses that ran in the Welsh National last time out (Sat 6th Jan) are also worth looking at with 4 of the last 15 contesting that Chepstow race in the same season – with 3 of the last 15 winners of this actually finishing first or second in that contest.

So, yes, if past runnings are anything to go on, we are very unlikely to see the winner go onto glory in the Aintree Grand National in a few months. It also remains to be seen how long the race continues to have the tag ‘Grand National Trial’, but it’s still a fascinating contest to watch, with plenty of old staying favourites on show, and you never know – the stats are always there to be broken, so is this the year we see a horse land both races?

JUICESTORM VERDICT: We’ve several proven course winners here at Haydock, but all eyes here will be on the current Grand National favourite – BLAKLION – as he bids to further cement his place at the head of the ante-post market. This trial race hasn’t see a winner go onto land the Aintree Grand National in the same season though. Yes, big names like Red Rum and Party Politics have won this in the past, but in years they didn’t win the Grand National. On Tuesday night the National weights were revealed and with Blaklion getting 11st-6lbs – which is 5lbs more than when he ran 4th in 2017 – then we’ll know after Saturday if the handicapper has got that wrong or right. An easy win here for this 9 year-old, who has returned this season better than ever, and we can expect his status as Grand National favourite to firm up dramatically. We last saw him running away with the Becher Chase at Aintree and being priced up at 7/4 for that race it really was a case of punters backing him to stay on his feet – he did! He was also second in this race 12 months ago, but many feel he’s improved bundles since. The Pipe’s took this race 12 months ago with Vieux Lion Rouge, who runs at Ascot this Saturday instead of here, but also have Daklondike for the same winning owners in the race. This 6 year-old gets in here with only 10-5 and having won his last two heads here in fine fettle. He’s up 7lbs from that last win, but being a young horse can be expected to have more in the locker. The only concern is for such a young horse would he be up for a slog against some big names in the staying sphere. The Colin Tizzard camp are certainly in better order than a few weeks ago and in The Dutchman they’ve a dour stayer that would have a big say here. He won the Tommy Whittle Chase here by 13 lengths last time, but would need another step forward off 13lbs higher. MYSTEREE (e/w) was second in last season’s Midland’s National and is better than his recent run (pulled up) in the Welsh National. He’s a course and distance winner too and with only 10-3 to carry can go best of the outsiders. Three Faces West fell when leading last time here in the Tommy Whittle Chase, but has been given plenty of time to get over that. He’s won over 3m, but, for me, the jury is probably still out as to whether this longer trip will suit. In summary, a decent race in prospect, but it’s hard to get away from how well Blaklion won last time out. The vibes from the Twiston-Davies camp all week have been good with two horses in the last 10 years winning this with 11-12 then it’s been proven it’s possible to carry the weight. Get the thoughts of trainer Michael Scudamore (Mysteree’s trainer), plus 19 other top yards each day here with TRAINERS-QUOTES.