Students of Grand National history can learn a lot – and this has a couple of key benefits.

Firstly and most importantly – it’s absolutely fascinating. The Grand National has to have generated more stories (and statistics along with them) than pretty much any other seminal sporting event, anywhere on the planet.

Secondly – a little analysis of the stats and, specifically, the stats relating to the winner can really help you narrow down your selection criteria and by following a few simple rules – you can create a shortlist which will, very probably, include the winner of the next Grand National. And that, by the way, is due to be held on Saturday 11th April 2015.

The oldest Grand National winner was Peter Simple who won the National when aged 15 in 1853

As things stand, the long-term joint ante-post favourites for the 2015 race at around 25-1 each are four horses: Shutthefrontdoor, last year’s winner Pineau de Rae, Back In Focus and Double Seven. But whatever you do – don’t bet yet unless you really know something the rest of the world doesn’t. Instead, wait until the weights come out a couple of months before the race next year – then you can start creating the shortlist.

Until then, perhaps you can do what is necessary to generate yourself a decent gambling stake for free if you get lucky. Most bookmakers offer generous bonus bets these days. Among the most generous of these are Skybet, Unibet, 32 Red and a few others. These offers are well-worth taking and you’d be foolish not to take them if you’re having a weighted value gamble on next year’s big race anyway – as most of the people in the UK seem to do each year.

Interestingly, though, some of the online casinos have even more generous intro bonus offers- and some of them, in turn also have sports books.

Among these are Costa and the afore-mentioned 32Red. Now the main benefit of taking these offers is simple; they’re bigger. But you do need to play through a few casino games before you’re allowed to transfer the money – so stick to games like roulette etc., backing black or red, odd or even continually – and you’ll have a good chance of retaining you stake or maybe winning some more as the odds are very close to evens.

Similarly, if you play blackjack online at and play a basic percentage strategy, the odds are very close to even money and, again, you might just win. And if you do – you could have a very big stake for nothing on next year’s big race. And if you don’t – you should only have lost a relatively small amount – and even that pre-supposes you’ve lost the lot. In short, then, these bonus offers in online casinos are well worth trying to take advantage of.

Anyway – without further ado – what about those stats? Well recent history shows the likely winner will be aged 8-11 inclusive, carrying between 10 stones and 11 stones 5lbs, be a good jumper, be well-rated and not too far out on the odds, and like the going on the day.

Now let’s have a look at a few facts that are just plain interesting:

  • Only Red Rum has won this race three times; he won in 1973, 1974 and 1977 and was second in both 1975 and 1976 – an incredible achievement.
  • The oldest Grand National winner was Peter Simple who won the National when aged 15 in 1853.
  • Meanwhile – Alcibiade (1865), Regal (1876), Austerlitz (1877), Empress (1880), and Lutteur III (1909), all won the National aged just five.
  • Abd-El-Kader became the first horse to win back-to-back Grand Nationals in 1850-51. The Colonel did the same in 1869 and 1870, as did Reynoldstown in 1935-36. Red Rum was the next and most recent horse to do this.
  • Golden Miller remains the only horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the National in the same year, 1934.
  • Manifesto ran in more Grand Nationals than any other horse. During the period 1895-1904, Manifesto competed in eight Nationals. He won twice and came third three times.
  • And finally, just 13 mares have won a Grand National – and none since Nickel Coin back in 1951.

But who’ll win on 2016!?