McCoy, Shutthefrontdoor And Grand National Favouritism

Yesterday AP McCoy announced that he would ‘very likely’ ride this year’s Grand National favourite Shutthefrontdoor in the Aintree spectacular adding that ‘something would have to happen for me to switch from him’.

The eight-year-old Jonjo O’Neill charge has been the favourite for the 4m,3f race ever since he picked up the Irish equivalent back in the April of last year. His price shortened further with McCoy’s likely association and Ladbrokes’ Mike Dillon has recently predicted that he will be on the shortest priced favourite since Red Rum in 1975 (7/2) should the retiring 19-time champion jockey take the ride on him on April 11th.

How, then, do favourites rate in the Aintree Grand National? How have they performed in recent years and is there anything in the recent trends that suggests that punters are getting better at spotting the most likely winners in the 40-strong field? We aimed to find out.

How many favourites have won the Grand National?

Unfortunately for McCoy and any potential favourite backers, there have only been nine winning favourites (including joint- and co-favourites) since 1945. An extremely poor record by anyone’s reckoning. The last winning market leader was Don’t Push It (10/1 joint-favourite) back in 2010 ridden by – ahem – a certain AP McCoy.

Don’t Push It is just one of three winning favourites to have come in the past 10 years, Hedgehunter taking the crown in 2005 and Comply Or Die finishing first past the post in 2008. The former, the mount of Willie Mullins and Trevor Hemmings, went off the clear 7/1 market leader whilst David Pipe’s Comply Or Die was the 7/1 joint-favourite with Cloudy Lane who finished in sixth for Donald McCain junior.

How many favourites have completed?

In the past 15 years there have been 29 Grand National favourites, be they outright favourites, joint-favourites or co-favourites. Of these 29 mounts, 16 have completed the course with 13 of these 16 achieving a place of either 6th or better.

Indeed, whilst there have been 11 favourites between 2008-2014 (again be they clear favourites, joint-favourites or co-favourites) only one of these market leaders has failed to complete. This was last year’s 10/1 joint-favourite Teaforthree who unseated his rider Nick Scholfield at the Chair. Fellow joint-favourite Double Seven, once again ridden by McCoy, fared better in third. Such a trend absolutely shows that punters are improving when it comes to identifying a potential Grand National winner.

What’s McCoy’s record like on Grand National favourites?

McCoy has ridden seven of these last 29 favourites. He has completed on five of them, placing three times and winning once – Don’t Push It (2010). The 40-year-old fell on both 9/1 clear favourite Dark Stranger back in 2000 and when on one of four 10/1 co-favourites (Jurancon II) in 2004. He finished without placing when seventh past the post on 2009 7/1 market leader Butler’s Cabin.

Those favourites on which he placed? Blowing Wind (8/1F, 3rd, 2002), Clan Royal (5/1 JF, 3rd, 2006) and Double Seven (10/1 JF, 3rd, 2014).    


Don’t fancy Shutthefrontdoor? Remember to check out our Grand National tips for this year! Simply select this link to see our three picks for this season’s renewal and our reasoning behind our choosing them! Need a further reason to go see? We’ve highlighted a 100/1 shot!

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