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How are the 2021 Randox Grand National Weights decided?


Grand National Weights

The weights for the 2021 Randox Grand National were released in February and since the markets for the famous steeplechase have become far more active. These weights are set in stone irrespective of how each runner performs between then and the Grand National itself, however many don’t realise how the handicapper allocates and determines each weight.


How are the 2021 Randox Grand National Weights decided?

When the handicapper allocates the weight for each Grand National entry, he needs to take into account a variety of factors. First and foremost he needs to look at the horse’s recent form and then he needs to consider the course itself, the ‘Aintree factor’. This leads to other questions such as: ‘Does the particular runner like this track?’ and ‘Is he (or she) proven over longer trips such as the Grand National?’.

The final Grand National field will be determined by the rating of each contender and the horses with the higher weight are given preference in the maximum field of forty. The horses with the top ratings will be given top weight (maximum 11st 10lb) and the other entries will be allocated their respective weights off the top-rated runner.

Since Red Rum’s famous third Grand National win in 1977, no horse won the Grand National with more than 11st 7lb until Many Clouds in 2015. Indeed between 1984 and 2009 only a ingle winner of the race had carried over 11st, this being Hedgehunter in 2005.

This trend appears to be turning somewhat of late with six of the Grand National winners since 2009 carrying at least 11st. Nevertheless over the past 29 years all-but-seven of the winners had carried at most 10st 13lb.


Santini, Easysland and Bristol De Mai have been given top weights of 11st 10lb. Tiger Roll was judged relatively harshly at just 1lb below, leading to his removal from the 2021 renewal of the Grand National.