The Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival are two fixtures that dominate the British horse racing calendar.
Cheltenham, with its rigorous courses and high stakes, often serves as a precursor to the Grand National.
Both festivals attract huge viewing audiences, millions in bets and winners go straight into the history books.
A lot of racing fans tend to look at Cheltenham results when scouring the National runners for tips as to who will potentially rule Aintree.
But we ask, can performances at Cheltenham offer valuable racing tips for the Grand National?
Glimpses Into Future Success
Every year, standout horses from the Cheltenham Festival make headlines. And usually it doesn’t take long for pundits to speculate on their chances in the Grand National.
While past performance is no guarantee, a strong showing and some solid racing results at Cheltenham can boost a horse’s odds. Or in this case, shorten them as they quickly become favourites with the bookies.
Historically, several horses have found success in both events. They’ve used the Cheltenham Festival as a springboard and have not only competed but have also left an indelible mark.
The great Tiger Roll dominated over both courses. He won the Triumph Hurdle in 2014, which is a big race for younger horses and he didn’t stop there.
Over the years, Tiger Roll continued to impress at Cheltenham, winning the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, not once but twice, in 2018 and 2019.
Proving his mettle at Aintree, in 2018, he clinched his first Grand National win. But what’s even more impressive? He won it again the next year, in 2019.
Tiger Roll’s achievements in both the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National make him a standout. But he isn’t alone.
Corach Rambler followed up his Ultima Handicap Chase win at Cheltenham in March with a stunning victory in the 2023 Grand National winner.
He was also the first favourite, since Tiger Roll to win the race.
How Many Cheltenham Winners Win The Grand National?
While Tiger Roll and Corach Rambler are standouts, how many other Grand National winners, since 2013, have won or done well at Cheltenham before heading to Aintree?
|Year||Horse||Grand National||Cheltenham||Race||Finishing Position|
|2023||Corach Rambler||1st||Yes||Ultima Handicap Chase||1st|
|2022||Noble Yeats||1st||Yes||Ultima Handicap Chase||9th|
|2019||Tiger Roll||1st||Yes||Glenfarclas Chase||1st|
|2018||Tiger Roll||1st||Yes||Glenfarclas Chase||1st|
|2017||One For Arthur||1st||No||–||–|
|2016||Rule The World||1st||No||–||–|
|2015||Many Clouds||1st||Yes||Gold Cup||6th|
|2014||Pineau De Re||1st||Yes||Pertemps Network Hurdle||3rd|
So as we can see from above, given that Tiger Roll won twice, only five of the last ten winners, had even RUN at Cheltenham. And of those, only two had won there.
Maybe it’s not the win at Cheltenham that counts, but the actual performance. So if you want to look towards the Cotswolds for answers at Aintree, look for runners who have run well there, rather than those that actually won there.
Look Beyond The Wins
If you’re after racing tips, it’s essential to look beyond past victories. Other factors play a crucical role as to how well a horse might do in the Grand National 2024.
The horse’s age, form, training, and health play crucial roles. The conditions on the day of the race can also sway results.
A horse that triumphs at Cheltenham might struggle with the longer distance of the Grand National. A winner on a dry spring day in March might have bigger issues with a soaked Aintree course in April.
I know that every trainer bigs up his horse’s chances on the day of the National. None will ever come out and say they don’t have a chance. Because they know that this is a race where just about anything can happen.
Delays in the race, such as those in 2023, can negatively impact a runner, as can the weather, the crowds, the other horses, the tricky fences and the distance.
With so many factors to consider, it’s wise to pay attention to expert opinions for additional insights.
Analysts and insiders study the nuances of each horse’s performance. They observe their stamina, speed, and strategy. These tidbits of information can offer valuable racing tips for the Grand National.
While the Cheltenham Festival provides a glimpse, experts often have a broader view. They consider multiple factors before making predictions.
The Verdict On Cheltenham’s Influence
So, can the Cheltenham Festival truly offer Grand National tips? The answer is both yes and no.
While Cheltenham performances provide insight, the Grand National remains a unique challenge. You should use Cheltenham results as a guide, not a guarantee.
In the unpredictable world of horse racing, anything can happen. And that’s what makes the sport so exhilarating.