As many know the Grand National is at best unpredictable. It can take a 100/1 long shot and make a hero of them, so with this in mind how can you pick a winner?

Well, the professionals choice is to study the form and make their decision based on that.

But as already mentioned anything can happen in the Grand National so below we have a selection of alternative methods to pick your horse.

What’s In A Name?

Try a horse that has the same name as someone you know such as family, friends or even your favourite pop star.

It doesn’t matter so long as there is some kind of connection. To give you an example, in 2023 there were numerous horses with everyday names that will be familiar to everyone.

  • Sam Brown
  • Minella Trump
  • Velvet Elvis
  • Gabby’s Cross
  • Eva‘s Oscar
  • Francky Du Berlais

Of course none of them actually won the race, or even placed but that’s half the fun of the race.

Pick A Grey Runner

One way to narrow your selection is to go with a ‘grey’ horse. Admittedly, Neptune Collonges was the last grey runner to win the Grand National in 2012.

Trained by Paul Nicholls, he was only the third grey to win in the history of the race.

In 2023, four grey’s ran in the race – Coko Beach, Eva’s Oscar, Gaillard Du Mesnil and Vanillier.

Vanillier finished in second place, and at odds of 20/1 would have made you a tidy profit if you had backed it each way.

Undoubtedly there will be a few more running in the 2024 Grand National, so keep an eye out.

Sports Enthusiast?

Another way to pick a winner is to spot a link between the horse and your favourite football, rugby or other team sport you follow.

It could be a visual link such as strip colour or it could be that the horses name is similar to your team or home ground.

Horses such as Hill Sixteen is perfect for fans of hurling. While rugby legend, Mike Tindall, co-owns Monbeg Dude and Sir Alex Ferguson and Michael Owen are well known for having some great runners over the years.

Could the Jockey’s Clothing (known as silks) ring any bells? If the colours have significance to you then cross your fingers that the jockey is on a good horse.

There could be a horse in the line up thats speaks to your favourite activity such as ‘Seabass’ for all you anglers.

Or alternatively for the rigidly single ‘On His Own’ and for those who have a long time partner might find significance in the horse ‘Always Right’.

Bank On The Irish

One sound piece of advice amongst all these alternative ways to pick a horse is to pick an Irish horse, trainer or jockey or if possible all three!

The Irish are known for their vast amount of entries every year and sometimes you just have to go with the stats.

Half over the last ten winners have been trained in Ireland so look for horses trained by Henry De Bromhead or Gordon Elliott in particular.

Despite all of his success, Willie Mullins last trained a Grand National winner in 2005. His focus tens to be on Cheltenham though he is due a win soon.

In terms of breeding, EIGHT of the last ten winners were bred in Ireland. Only one was bred in the UK and that was Rule the World, who ironically was then trained in Ireland and won the race with an Irish trainer and jockey in 2016.

As a side note, steer clear of the French! This is simply an observation that a French bred horse hasn’t won the National for over a hundred years.

With that being said if the horse has been trained in the UK it could be in with a chance. Pineau De Re was French-bred but trained by Richard Newland and won in 2014.

Pin Sticker

Long before the internet existed people were betting on the Grand National. They didn’t have vast amounts of information to sift through to help make a decision.

Nope, all they had was the newspaper on the morning of the race and a bookies down the road.

So what did they do? They went with the tried and tested method of sticking a pin on the list of runners and betting on the one they picked.

It’s not scientific but plenty of people have been lucky enough to pick a winner that way. And after all, this is a race where luck counts!


So there you have our five fun ways to pick a winner in the Grand National. Once you have selected your horse you should place your bet with a bookie that has a Bonus Bet offer (there will be conditions).

It wont feel half so bad if you lose using someone else’s cash and as most pay out on the first 5 or 6 horses (instead of the traditional 4) home, you have a better chance of collecting some cash.

Make sure you bet ‘Each Way’ as this ensures you pick up some cash even if your horse comes in as low as 4th.