If there’s one race that needs no introduction to racing, it’s the Grand National! This is the biggest horse race in the UK, with plenty of non-racing fans tuning in for the spectacle. It’s there you’ll find the cream of the crop fighting for a prize pool of £1 million! This makes it the most valuable jump race in Europe too! All in all, if you’re a fan of racing, this is one stop you do not want to miss!
The Grand National runs at Aintree racecourse every year, near Liverpool. Aintree is a fantastic selection for the Grand National for a few reasons. Firstly it offers an incredible track; secondly, it has world-class facilities. Thirdly, it has the Liverpool nightlife to go with it! Everything you’ll need for a perfect trip out!
To run in this race, horses must meet three requirements. These are:
- Aged 7 or older
- Run in at least 3 recognised chases, with a top 4 in a 3+ mile race
- It must meet the handicap standard.
If they do, they will be at Aintree looking to compete for the £500k top prize!
Aintree racecourse offers multiple tracks at its venue. However, it’s the Grand National Course that’s used each year for this race. Moreover, this is a challenging course with features that are as follows:
- A distance of 2 miles 1 furlong
- 16 national fences
- 3 Open ditches
- 1 Water Jump
Horses must complete two laps of this track for the Grand National. That means the total distance for this race is around 4 miles 2 furlongs, or just shy of 7km. Moreover, the track ends in one of the longest run-ins of any steeplechase at 452m! This makes the Grand National the longest jump race in the UK too! In fact, the Grand National usually takes between 9 and 11 minutes to be completed!
The race’s record was set in 1990 by ‘Mr Frisk’ who finished the race in 8m 47.8s! At the other end though, the slowest winner of this race took 14m 53s. However, this was back in 1839 by ‘Lottery’, the first National winner.
There’s only one horse to start with when it comes to previous winners: and that’s Red Rum! That’s because Red Rum is the most successful horse in the Grand National, winning the race three times! These were the Nationals in 1973, 1974, and 1977.
Abd-El-Kader gets itself in the history books by being the first horse to win back-to-back nationals. This happened in 1850 and 1851. Only four other horses have managed to replicate this feat too! In 1869/70, the Colonel; Reynoldstown in 1935/36, Red Rum in 1973/4, and Tiger Roll in 2018/19.
Golden Miller is worth mentioning too. This horse makes the history books as the only horse to win both the Grand National and the Gold Cup in the same year!
Tiger Roll is the current champion back-to-back champion of the Grand National and Hall of Famer, winning in 2018 and 2019. Due to the covid break in 2020, if he competes in 2021 and wins, he will be the first horse to get a three-peat!