How to Enjoy the 2013 Grand National Horse Race

Without worrying about crossing over the line into hyperbole or exaggeration, one can easily claim that the Grand National race, which takes place every year on the last day of the Grand National Festival, is the most important horse racing event of the year. Once the annual Cheltenham Festival ends (usually three weeks or so before the Grand National begins) horse racing fans shift the focus of their attention to Aintree Racecourse and the historic races that are held there. It's easy to enjoy the Grand National if you know what to look for. Here are some tips and pointers.


  1. Image titled Enjoy the 2013 Grand National Horse Race Step 1
    Understand the Grand National History. The Grand National Festival is a three-day event that culminates in the Grand National race ("the National"), the premier race of the National Hunt season. The National has been run at Aintree Racecourse since 1839; that's close to 175 years of history. The National is a steeplechase that covers 4.5 miles (7.2 km) and 30 fences. Over the years, the Grand National has also become the most lucrative horse racing event in the UK; close to £1 million is allocated to prize money. More than 150,000 people attend the three-day festival, and tens of millions of horse racing fans and punters tune in to watch the Grand National on TV and through Internet sites that stream the race live to avid viewers around the world. The very first Grand National champion was Lottery in 1839; the 2012 winner was Neptune Collonges, owned by John Hales, trained by Paul Nicholls, and ridden by Daryl Jacob.
  2. Image titled Enjoy the 2013 Grand National Horse Race Step 2
    Discover the essence of the Festival Although all roads lead to the Grand National race, the entire Grand National festival is great fun. This year's festival will run from Thursday, April 4, to Saturday, April 6; the National itself will begin at 4:15 pm on Saturday. The first day – called Grand Opening Day – kicks off with musical performances for the whole family. From the get-go, the atmosphere at Aintree is full of excitement. The entertainment continues into the next day – Ladies Day – when the focus shifts away from the horses for a few hours and hones in on fashion and style. All manner of dress can be seen on Ladies Day and the event has become something of a cultural landmark. The final day – Grand National Day – is dedicated to the pomp and history of the Grand National; parades and marching bands perform for the crowd until that all-important moment: the running of the Grand National race.
  3. Image titled Enjoy the 2013 Grand National Horse Race Step 3
    Get the feel for the Course. The Grand National course is particularly challenging and spectators throng to the traditional viewing spots to watch the most famous (and infamous) jumps. The course has 16 fences and all but two (The Chair and the Water Jump) are encountered twice. Attendees pay special attention to the most dangerous and notorious obstacles, such as Becher's Brook and the Canal Turn. The Becher's Brook fence will forever be known as the obstacle that did in Synchronized in 2012 (the horse fell and had to be put down). The homestretch of the course is also especially demanding. This is no easy straight run to the finish line; the stretch has a twist – known as an elbow – that has sabotaged the runs of many great horses, including last year's second-place finisher Sunnyhillboy.
  4. Image titled Enjoy the 2013 Grand National Horse Race Step 4
    Wager on the Grand National race itself. All the races at the Grand National festival are fodder for punting around the world, but nothing comes close to the amounts of money that are wagered on the Grand National race itself. The beauty of such a popular race is that punters don't have to attend the festival or be at Aintree to place their bets. All online sports betting sites offer the opportunity to punt on the race. The good Web sites have ante-post prices for weeks before the start of the festival, along with statistics and news that will keep an interested punter well informed. Punters who want to be assured of a safe and reliable betting experience, should navigate their way to a site with an excellent reputation, such as William Hill, one of the most well-respected sports betting sites on the Net. The odds that are listed on the many sport betting sites indicate a horse's chance of winning. Some horses being watched closely going into the 2013 Grand National are On His Own, Prince De Beauchene, and Seabass, but as we know, at Grand National, anything is possible.


  • If you're going to place a bet, don't rush into a quick decision. Get the feel for the course and the horses.
  • Feel the history of the event. If you can't get to the racecourse, watch on television or online.

Article Info

Categories: Horses