Thursday 28 March 2013

Your Guide to the Grand National 2013 Meeting

The Grand National three-day meeting at Aintree, from Thursday April 4th - Saturday 6th features the most famous steeplechase in the world: The John Smith's Grand National. What a fantastic meeting we have in store. 

Take a look at the schedule:

Thursday: April 4th -Grand Opening Day - racing highlights include the Bowl Chase, the Aintree Hurdle & the Fox Hunters' Chase, run over the Grand National fences.

Friday: Ladies Day:April 5th - all the girls get dressed to the nines to enjoy highlights such as the Melling Chase, the Sefton Novices hurdle & the Topham Chase which sees horses jumping the National fences. This day is not only about top class racing but a superb social occasion. 

Saturday: April 6th - the big day arrives - the John Smith's Grand National. Are you ready for the most famous steeplechase in the world? Don't forget this is just part of a great day's entertainment with the Liverpool Hurdle, Maghull Novices' Chase and Mersey Novices' Hurdle.

Exceptional race action. 

Love the Grand National?

Grand National Trivia

This historic handicap steeplechase is run over 4 mile 4 furlong at Aintree and sponsored by John Smith's. It was first run in 1839. The Grand National is televised in 140 countries and viewed by an audience of 600 million. Horses jump 30 fences including Bechers' Brook, Foinavon, the Canal Turn & The Chair over two grueling circuits. 

It is considered the ultimate test of horse & jockey. 

Did you know...

The Grand National is the most valuable National Hunt race in Britain. In 2012 the prize fund was £975,000.

Noted races include...

Tipperary Tim who won in 1928. Amazingly 41 of the 42 runners fell. William Dutton landed the odds at 100/1. This race still holds the record as the fewest number of finishers.

Foinavon proved that you sometimes you need a little bit of luck when winning in 1967. This 100/1 was lagging 100 yards behind the pack when a loose horse named Popham Down caused mayhem at the 23rd fence hampering or unseating most of the field. Foinavon had time to steer round the havoc and none of the opposition had time to catch him.

Red Rum is a true legend of this race winning three times in the 1970s. Trained by the late Ginger McCain, he won the Grand National in 1973, 1974 & 1977. He finished second in 1975 & 1976. 

Few people will ever forget Bob Champion's win in 1981 aboard Aldantini. Two years before this race, Champion had been given only months to live after being diagnosed with cancer. Aldaniti had recovered from chronic leg problems but the pair went on to beat SpartanMissile by four and half lengths in an emotional victory. Their story was made into a film, Champions, starring John Hurt.

Grand National Records:

Fastest winning time: Mr Frisk (1990) 8 minute 48 seconds
Oldest winning horse: Peter Simple (1853) 15 years 
Youngest winning jockey: Bruce Hobbs (1938) 17 years old
Longest winning odds: 5 horses have won at 100/1
Largest field: (1929) 66 runners
Smallest field: (1883) 10 runners

Who will win this year?

Leading fancies include On His Own trained by Willie Mullins, Seabass, Cappa Blue, Colbert Station, Sunnyhillboy & Chicago Grey to name just a few.  

The race which keeps a nation of hearts jumping.