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Grand National Tips
from Major Flange is very fortunate to have the South West's leading tipster, Major F. Flange (retd.), who has offered his services free of charge - although if you win on one of his tips then I'm sure a pint of Ale wouldn't go amiss.

Major Flange’s Grand National summary


The Grand National’s gruelling marathon trip of 4m2f can test even the strongest of stayers, so it’s essential to find and tip on a horse that will get every yard of the trip.


Only two of the previous ten winners had not run beyond 3m3f previously, so the obvious place to start would be contenders who have experience over extreme distances. It’s also worth paying close attention to form in other regional Grand Nationals, such as the Midlands, Welsh and Scottish. Horses who have gone well in these races tend to put up a bold show in the Aintree Grand National, using their regional equivalent as a trial or preparation race, and many high-profile tipsters take performance at these races into account.


Classier type the new trend


Since a change in how the handicap weights are calculated in 2009, there has been a shift in the typical profile of a Grand National winner. Traditionally, punters would be looking for a ‘well-handicapped' horse who had snuck in at the bottom of the weights. However, in recent years the higher-rated horses have come to the fore and have tended to stamp their class. Whilst carrying a lot of weight is certainly far from ideal over this marathon trip, the likes of Many Clouds, Neptune Collonges, and Tiger Roll have all proven it’s possible to win this race with more than 11st on their back. However, victories in the last two years for Minella Times and Noble Yeats have shown it can still pay to consider those at the lower end of the ratings.


Age and experience


Grand National tipsters factor in both age and experience into their selections, as it’s no secret that horses get slower as they get older, and naturally, a staying trip tends to suit horses better as they mature. Last year, Noble Yeats became the first seven-year-old to win the Grand National since the second world war, while the stats suggest nine-year-olds have the best chance having won 44 of the last 170 runnings of the race. Experience is key in the hustle and bustle of the Grand National and a fluent round of jumping is crucial in a horse’s chances of winning. With 30 fences to be navigated, and a 40-runner field to compete with, the ideal candidate would be a seasoned chaser who won’t be affected by the atmosphere of the occasion.


Irish beginning to dominate


There has been a major swing in the powerbase of jumps racing in the last decade towards Ireland, and that shift is being felt in the Grand National. In the last 20 runnings, there have been 11 British-trained winners and nine Irish, however five of those nine have come in the last six years. In 2021, ten of the first 11 home were trained in Ireland and they secured another 1-2-3 in 2022. Irish-based owners Gigginstown - victorious with Tiger Roll in 2018 and 2019 - always have a strong hand in the race and their horses could be ones to look out for, as well as those in the green and gold hoops of fellow top owner JP McManus.


Course form a bonus


The fences in the Grand National are unique, so experience around Aintree is a massive bonus. In the past seven years, 12 of the 35 runners to fill the first five places in the Grand National have run at the course previously. Seasoned tipsters pay extra attention to the other major Aintree races, the Topham Chase and Becher Chase rather than the previous runnings of the Grand National itself. Horses who return to the Grand National for a second or third time don’t have the best record in the race, while Tiger Roll bucked the trend in 2020 with back-to-back wins.


Grand National preparation


The Grand National is a handicap, which means each runner is awarded an official rating by the BHA handicapper, based on previous form and reflects that horse’s ability. The higher the rating, the more weight that horse must carry in order to create a level playing field, and tipsters pay close attention to this. Winning a race over fences would penalise a horse and consequently increase its official mark. Therefore, some trainers try to protect a horse's rating by campaigning them to peak at a particular time of year so don’t be put off by a series of high numbers in a horse’s form.



  • Since 1983 just 5 out of the 37 winners carried MORE than 11 stone and three of those were sent off as Favourite or Joint Favourite

  • An Irish trained runner has won 5 of the last 6 runnings

  • The last 7 winners were aged 9 or younger



  • 7 of the last 10 were aged 9 or younger

  • 4 of the last 10 were aged 8

  • 3 of the last 10 were aged 11

  • Last year’s winner NOBLE YEATS was the first 7yo since 1940

  • “We’re looking for an 8 or 9 year old but age isn’t the be all and end all”


  • 7 of the last 10 carried 10 stone 11 pounds or less

  • 11 stone 6 pounds is the 10 year high weight

  • 10 stone 3 pounds is the 10 year low weight

  • 10 stone 11 pounds is the 10 year average weight

  • “We’re looking for a horse to be carrying 10st 11lbs or less”


  • 5 of the last 10 were Irish Trained (5 of the last 6)

  • Gordon Elliott is the last back to back trainer with TIGER ROLL

  • Gordon is also the last trainer to win it twice in recent years with SILVER BIRCH in 2007 winner before TIGER ROLL’S first win in 2018

  • Gordon Elliott trained 2021 winner MINELLA TIMES up to the National too

  • Nigel Twiston-Davies is the last British trainer to win in succession (1998 & 2002)

  • “Gordon Elliott would be a trainer to note; that said…. everything has a chance.

  • Willie Mullins is the UK’s most successful trainer and has never…won the Grand National!


  • 9 of the last 10 were NOT favourite

  • 6 of the last 10 were 25/1 or bigger

  • The average price in the last 10 years is 27/1

  • “Price really shouldn’t influence your decision”


  • Just 2 of the last 10 winners had run over Hurdles the same season

  • 7 of the last 10 had run at least 4 times that season

  • 7 of the last 10 has won that season (5 of the last 5)

  • 7 of the last 10 had raced inside the last 36 days (all inside the last 85)

  • 6 of the last 10 had failed to complete in a race that season

  • 5 of the last 10 had won inside the last 85 days

  • 5 of the last 10 had run at The Cheltenham Festival (Only TIGER ROLL won at both)

  • “Ideally we want a horse who has raced 4 times or more this season with the last run coming inside the last 6 weeks and even better if they have a win under their belt this term and don’t worry if they fell, unseated or pulled up”




  • 9 of the last 10 had raced at least 10 times over fences

  • 9 of the last 10 had NOT run in a previous English Grand National

  • 8 of the last 10 had been ridden by their jockey before (7 of the last 7)

  • 7 of the last 10 had won 3 or more times over fences (not the last 2)

  • 7 of the last 10 had won over 3 miles plus (not the last 2)

  • 7of the last 10 had been to Aintree before

“Having run at Aintree is a big plus but not so much horses who have run in this race before who weren’t successful. Experience is key and a minimum of 10 spins over fences is wanted”


Stats. say that you should be looking at an 8-9 year old, with an Irish trainer, a horse that’s raced 10x plus over fences including the Aintree fences and won over 3 miles +….and…has luck on its side!







  1. Gaillard du Mesnil – Willie Mullins says, “ he’s tailor-made for the National.” – 12-1

  2. Mr. Incredible – another Willie Mullins horse who’s talented but a little quirky! – 14-1

  3. Cloudy Glen – classy horse owned by the Exors. Of the late Trevor Hemmings who won this race 3 times, good outsider. – 50-1

    Have fun and good luck!!

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