50/1 horse only one to fit seven common Grand National trends

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Picking the winner of the Grand National is commonly regarded as somewhat of a lottery, but it doesn’t have to be in 2014, with only one entrant adhering to seven trends that have been common among the most recent winners of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

Over 60 horses are still entered in the Grand National, but 52 possible winners can immediately be discounted on the fact that four of the last five victors lugged at least 11st around Aintree.

Of these eight, top-weight Tidal Bay, Hennessy Gold Cup winner Triolo D’Alene and the runner up in that contest Rocky Creek exit the shortlist as they are of the wrong age group.

All of the last nine winners have been aged between nine and 11.

This leaves Long Run (14/1), Hunt Ball (50/1), Quito De La Roque (50/1), Colbert Station (25/1) and Walkon (50/1).

However, Colbert Station fell on his latest start in Ireland and 10 of the last 11 winners finished in the first five on their final preparation run before arriving at Aintree.

Meanwhile, Long Run, Quito De La Roque and Walkon are all French bred, but eight of the last 10 winners were bred in Ireland.

This leaves Hunt Ball as the lone ranger and he additionally fits the criteria of being the right price, being trained in the correct country and having won the suitable standard of race earlier in his career.

Eight of the last 14 winners were sent off 16/1 or bigger, each of the last six victors were trained in England and eight of the last 10 had triumphed previously in either a graded or listed race.

Hunt Ball is 50/1 in the Grand National odds, represents Nicky Henderson, who is due a winner after sending eight losers to Aintree in the last decade and in 2012 justified favouritism to land the Cheltenham Festival contest formerly known as the Pulteney Land Investment Novices’ Handicap.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.