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  1. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by quevega View Post
    5 of last 10 have carried 11 stone or more.
    It's definitely inching up.
    4 of last years first 5 carried less, but are you sure of your figure quevega, because if yours is correct then my stat can't be, which weakens my argument. I wouldn't personally back anything carrying more than a couple of lbs over that mark, but that's just me.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMcGoldrick View Post
    4 of last years first 5 carried less, but are you sure of your figure quevega, because if yours is correct then my stat can't be, which weakens my argument. I wouldn't personally back anything carrying more than a couple of lbs over that mark, but that's just me.
    Neptune Collonges, Many Clouds, Ballabriggs, Don't Push It, Mon Mome.

  3. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by MrMcGoldrick View Post
    4 of last years first 5 carried less, but are you sure of your figure quevega, because if yours is correct then my stat can't be, which weakens my argument. I wouldn't personally back anything carrying more than a couple of lbs over that mark, but that's just me.
    It's all down to who includes the bang on 11 stoners or not, and you didn't. I did.
    I was just trying to point out that these type of comments (like 6 out of 10 etc) can be turned around more often than not or tweaked a little to look like a different trends altogether

  4. #94
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    Well you couldn’t argue with that seasonal debut for Rathvinden

  5. #95
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    Yep couldn't ask for more. The one now that still looks overpriced is Ms Parfois. Maybe shes had another setback.
    Last edited by boopa; 02-23-2019 at 06:42 PM.

  6. #96
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    Missed approach OUT

  7. #97
    THE FOLLOWING 10 HORSES HAVE BEEN SCRATCHED: ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS (FR), ALLYSSON MONTERG (FR), AUVERGNAT (FR), BALLYARTHUR (IRE), CALETT MAD (FR), JAROB, MISSED APPROACH (IRE), ROGUE ANGEL (IRE), THE DUTCHMAN (IRE), WESTERNER POINT (IRE)

    SKIPTHECUDDLES (IRE) & LIEUTENANT COLONEL not qualified

  8. #98
    Some thoughts:

    With BDM still in, there are still big weights variables for most contenders in the race. But two stand out at this point regardless as to whether he competes - Tiger Roll (of course) and Abolitionist. Both are intended for the race.

    ABOLITIONIST - 33/1 ante-post 5 places (1/4), 25/1 NRNB 5 places (1/5)

    - 10-01 is an appealing weight, with the possible rise not really a worry.
    - Top two (always within 5L of winner) in 8 of 9 chases at 3m+, and was 3rd (15L to Our Duke, RIP) in the other chase.
    - Won 2017 Leinster Nat (soft to heavy), 2nd in 2016 Troytown (yielding to soft), are probably two best form pieces.
    - Has not faced GN fences, but other than slipping up in his second chase, has a 100% completion rate.
    - Good record in springtime. Probably wants a sound surface, despite handling most ground.
    - Stamina in pedigree.
    - Newland bought him for this race last year, until an injury setback. Says he's working well and prep is good for his qualifying chase.
    - Newland is having a pretty good season: 29% wins (53% making frame) from 173 NH runs (ahead of his 5-year average: 23% & 48%).

    TIGER ROLL - 12/1 ante-post 5 places (1/4), 11/1 NRNB 5 places (1/5)

    I'd paraphrase this, but the arguments are so sound I can't do justice in reducing them:

    Official Rating and Weight:

    - Since Papillon’s win (2000), when the practice of compressing the handicap (and artificially raising the GN OR for course performers) commenced, 8 of the 12 GN winners to attempt back-to-back victories have made the first 6 home. 2 of them were 2nd. It's not "if" but "when" one will come home in front.

    - Both runners-up (Hedgehunter in 2006 and Comply or Die in 2009) carried 11lb more absolute weight (11.12 and 11.06 respectively) than when winning the prior year at OR +12 and +15.

    - Tiger Roll’s OR is +9 on last year and if BDM runs as 11.10 top weight (since BDM’s OR168 will be the highest in a GN since Suny Bay’s OR169, carrying 11.13, in 1999), TR will carry 11.01, only 2lb more absolute weight than last year. Even if BDM doesn’t run, he’d probably carry 11.05, just 6lb higher.

    - 11.05 is a big weight, especially for a small “rat of a horse”, but there have been 3 GN winners with 11.05+ since 2010 and a rise in the weights will, disadvantage him much less than a number of notable rivals, while still leaving him with a winning stat-profile.

    Form:

    - Hedgehunter had been in great form in 05/06 season – 2nd (2.5L) in the 2006 Gold Cup, 22 days prior to his gallant 2nd to Numbersixvalverde at Aintree. But Tiger Roll is only the 2nd GN winner since 2000 to return with another victory under his belt – a surprise but impressive win in a Grade 2 hurdle (said to be only 75% fit and looking like a mare in foal in the paddock). Many Clouds was the other to do so in 2016 but his failure could well, sadly, have reflected physical issues.

    - Of course, Tiger Roll still has the Cheltenham XC ahead, which he won last year. A safe spin round would be fine for his GN stats but the strength of that run may decide whether he lines up as favourite or not on 6 April. In the meantime, he’s a worthy 12/1 favourite.

    Now, Tiger Roll likely won't be on the betting slip, as 12/1 as a scaled each-way bet (the preferred method) wouldn't be profitable. Nearer the day this might change, depending on what happens in the interim, of course. There's so much to consider.
    Last edited by PadstheFish; 03-20-2019 at 09:45 PM.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerroll View Post
    Missed approach OUT
    disappointed with that one unfortunately wasn't NRNB, thankfully not too big a hit though!!!

  10. #100
    “True Believers” of GN trend-following adhere to an article of faith so strong it was surely inscribed on Moses’ tablets, ………shortly after “Thou Shalt Not Kill” but, naturally, well ahead of “Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbour’s Wife”.

    Yet, on 6 April 2019, the unthinkable could happen - yes, you better believe it …… for the first time in 79 years a 7 year-old could win The Grand National.

    To explain this heresy, a few points about my brand new GN stat-model (feel free to skip or use as a sleep-aid):

    a) Like its predecessor, it is NOT elimination-style, so doesn’t rule out a runner based solely on 1 offending stat – no matter how robust that stat appears. Rather, it uses a Formula (designed by the fruitcake that is yours truly) to evaluate each runner’s stats (+ and -) against a range of factors to establish an overall Rating for that runner.

    b) Nowt unique about that but less conventional is that, as before, the Formula is derived from the career-to-date stats not only of GN winners but of the first 6 home and it makes no distinction between a winner and a “near-misser” (<5L). Referencing near-missers has been the key to it anticipating apparent “trend-breakers”, e.g. Mon Mome in 2009 (the first French-bred winner) and Don’t Push It in 2010 with 11.05 (the biggest winning weight for 28 years) and it’s why it rates Tiger Roll, despite +9lb OR, a strong contender to defy a 45 year-old trend and win back-to-back GNs.

    c) My old model (given its first spin for the 2007 GN and using a database from 1988) had been re-tuned annually after each race to reconcile better- and worse-than expected performances. But until last year, there had never been a complete “outlier” near-missing (Pleasant Company, by just a Head). Time to bow to the inevitable - either my model was knackered or changes to the GN course and distance (after 2012), and to the complexion of a typical field, had materially altered the test that is the GN and, thus, the profile of potential GN winners. Either way, tune-ups no longer cutting it - time for a tearful adieu to Mark I and a rebuild from scratch.

    d) Ideally, we’d now use a database just from 2013 but a sample of 6 races is too small. We’ll get there eventually but, for the time-being, the new model is based on the 14 GNs from 2005 – when compression of the weights produced the first entire field “in the handicap” for years and which saw the first winner with 11-00+ since 1988 (Hedgehunter). New factors have been unearthed, some jettisoned and the Formula completely rewritten and subjected to back-testing - all 36 winners and <10L since 2005, including Pleasant Company, are now fully reconciled.

    So, with no little trepidation (and a loud wealth-warning) I’m giving Mark II its first spin, though the 2019 renewal could hardly make for a trickier debut.

    The Big Question

    …… is will Bristol De Mai line up or will the weights rise by 4+lbs?

    If he runs, BDM will be off the (5lb compressed) handicap mark of OR168 – the highest of any GN runner since SunyBay, off (uncompressed) OR169, carried 11.13 in Bobbyjo’s1999 GN. That year, 17 of the 32 runners ran from “out of the handicap” and the first 2 home were 14 and 16lbs “wrong” at the weights. It’s a stark illustration of how markedly the complexion of a GN field has changed in 20 years that it’s unlikely that there will be any runners out of the handicap if BDM runs this year, despite the lower top-weight of 11.10.

    5lbs well-in is a big incentive to run but it will depend on BDM’s Gold Cup run and recovery, 22 days prior to the GN. So, we still have at least a 2-week wait for a decision that's crucial to my model’s Ratings of several runners.

    And, of course, there’s also the other usual moving parts: final preps and the going.

    Current Top Rated Runners

    However, there are a handful of (definite or probable) runners that have winning stat-profiles irrespective of a weight-rise, the going and (barring catastrophe) their final preps.

    Abolitionist (backed) and Tiger Roll, both with definite intentions to run, already flagged but there's another that I've decided to add to my betting slip, despite being a probable, rather than 100% definite runner.

    And so...... the proof, beyond all reasonable doubt, that I’ve finally lost my marbles. To my betting slip, I've added …………….

    [To be continued ……]

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