The £1 million Grand National race at Aintree in 2021 starts at 17:15 on Saturday 10th April, only a few weeks after the Cheltenham Festival. How many of these Grand National Facts do you know?
Grand National facts
- Tiger Roll (jockey: Davy Russell, trainer: Gordon Elliot) won the last two races that were actually run (2019 and 2018). The 2020 Grand National was cancelled, although the virtual version (which has exisited in recent years only) took its timeslot (and was televised on itv) – this was won by Potters Corner.
- In 2017 One For Arthur (jockey Derek Fox, trainer Lucinda Russell) was victorious. In 2016 Rule The World (jockey David Mullins, trainer Mouse Morris) won.
- Jockey Leighton Aspell famously won 2 years in a row (in 2014 on Pineau de Re, and in 2015 on Many Clouds).
- The biggest starting price of a winner in recent years was in 2009 when Mon Meme (jockey Liam Treadwell) won at 100/1.
- 13 mares have won, but the last was Nickel Coin in 1951.
- 3 different greys have won (1 winning twice), with the last grey winner Neptune Collonges in 2012.
- A female jockey has never won, but in 2012 Katie Walsh was the first to finish in the top 3 (finishing 3rd on Seabass).
- The Grand National is a National Hunt Handicap Steeplechase. As it is a steeplechase, horses have to jump obstacles. Fences in this race are notable for being larger than usually found on other courses.
- The race is the longest National Hunt race in Great Britain, with a total distance of 4 miles 514 yards to be run. 2 laps are run – there are 16 fences on each lap (each of which has some spruce obtained from the Lake District on top of them), but the last 2 are not jumped on the final lap – so in total 30 obstacles have to be jumped to complete the course.
- Some of the fences are really famous:
- Fence 6 (and therefore, fence 22 as well), is known as Becher’s Brook, named after the jockey that fell there in the first ever Grand National – he saved himself by staying in the tiny brook alongside the fence landing (whilst the other horses continued to jump over).
- Fence 7 (and thus 23) is named Foinavon in honour of the 1967 outsider who won at 100/1, after avoiding a mess-up by others at this fence.
- Fence 8 (and so also 24) is called the Canal Turn. Immediately following this fence, horse and rider have to turn sharply.
- Fence 15 known as The Chair, and Fence 16 known as the Water Jump are jumped on the first lap only.
- The most famous horse to have competed is Red Rum. This famous thoroughbred won 3 times (no other horse has ever won three times) in the 1970s, in 1973 and 1974 as well as 1977. In the 2 other years between Red Rum’s 2nd and 3rd wins (i.e. 1975 and 1976), this legend of racing finished second both times.
We hope you liked these Grand National Facts. You can watch the biggest horse race in the universe live on itv – it really is the ultimate teaming of horse and jockey.
Grand National Top Tip
Minella Times to win the 2021 Grand National