Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once remarked, “those who have knowledge don’t predict, and those who predict don’t have knowledge.”

Perhaps. But the problem with predictions is that they’re fun to make. Particularly if you are in with a chance of making some dosh in the process.

Speaking of which, the Grand National returns this weekend. After a break last year due to the pandemic, the steeplechase horse race held in Aintree, Liverpool has seemingly got the betting public more excited than ever about losing money on a four-legged mammal.

There are several ways to work out which horse to bet on. Some punters, like this FT Alphavillain, just pick a name that makes us chuckle. Others, perhaps in a bid to seem sophisticated, try to make more of an exact science of the practice. Studying the horses record, the conditions on the ground and whatnot.

But we weren’t quite aware the lengths some go to until an email by a London-based banker was forwarded to us this morning titled “Grand National 2021”. And with it, yes, came one of the most destructive forces in the financial universe: an Excel model.

Of course, we couldn’t resist sharing it with you. So here it is.

And the blurb of the email, for good measure:

There’s an old rule of thumb with financial models — the more complex they are, the more wrong they tend to be.

But for horseracing? Who knows.

As for FT Alphaville, we’ll be putting a £5 on Mister Malarky to win because well, what else is there to do while we wait for the pubs to open Monday?