Darren Stanton: Those that back horses based on their colour seek comfort and familiarity

Grand national

Darren Stanton: Those that back horses based on their colour seek comfort and familiarity

The Grand National seems to hold a special place in the nation’s heart and many people will be having their annual flutter when it comes to placing a bet. Ironically for the masses, the motivation for such a bet is not because they think they’ll win a life changing amount of money, but more because it allows you to be connected to and a part of the action of this calendar highlight.

We as humans like consistency, so when it comes to a big selection like backing a horse in the Grand National we are more likely to give support, allegiance or indeed risk our money on something that we connect with or that resonates with us.

About Darren Stanton

Darren Stanton is a former police officer with Derbyshire police with a degree in psychology, who used  his expertise to uncover the truth when interviewing hundreds of suspects. He later moved into media and TV as a consultant, being dubbed the “Human Lie Detector” appearing on the likes of BBC’s The One Show, ITV’s This Morning with Phillip and Holly as well as working on screen with criminal barrister  Robert “Judge” Rinder. He has also analysed heightened political situations including General Election debates and key interviews with the likes of Dominic Cummings.

How you pick the horse you want to bet on can reveal a lot about your personality. For instance, if a horse’s name resonates with a person, such as a similar name to a child, family member or friend, those choosing it tend to believe in fate. They feel they have a connection to this horse because of its familiar name. Similarly, if a jockey’s name is similar to one you know and trust, people attribute a certain degree of rapport or trust with that name and deem it lucky.


Many people and indeed cultures have colours attributed to them, like the colours on a national flag. Those who tend to pick horses based on the jockey colours are often homebodies or seek comfort in familiarity. In Chinese culture, red is a very fortuitous colour and one that may stand out to those who are drawn to signs that remind them of where they’re from. Green is deeply woven into the fabric of Ireland and its culture so similarly many Irish may choose green thinking it will bring them luck.

Numbers are also another standout for some when it comes to choosing a horse. The superstitious may avoid the number 13 for its negative connotations with bad luck.

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