The world’s most famous horse race is of course the Grand National, run every year at Aintree. But how many Grand National facts do you know?
- 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 have understood more about this famous race, armed with these Grand National facts. Why not place a Grand National bet?