How to Understand the Grand National

It is the horse race which captures the public imagination like no other, taking place in April. The 2013 Grand National is nearly here, beginning on April 4. Not only is it the most lucrative hunt race of the entire calendar, but an estimated 500-600 million viewers will tune in in order to see the race unfold. So, how can you really understand the appeal of the Grand National? Here are some pointers.


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    Appreciate the history. No race can compare to the heritage of the Grand National. First run in 1836, it is one of the oldest races out there. However, it is also perhaps the most prestigious thanks to a glittering history ever since then. Legends have been made throughout the ages at the Grand National. From Foinavon, who became the most unlikely Grand National winner as a 100-1 outsider in 1967 to Red Rum who won the race 3 times in the 1970s, horses and jockeys alike have become household names thanks to the great race.
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    Understand the Romance. It isn’t just the great races and the quality of the spectacle which make the Grand National what it is today. It is the kind of race where fairy tales come true. Take what many consider the most celebrated Grand National victory of all. Bob Champion captured the hearts of a nation in 1981 when he rode Aldaniti home to victory after being diagnosed with cancer two years earlier. In another typical Grand National tale, Ginger McCain, who masterminded Red Rum’s domination of the race in the 1970s, returned to train another Grand National winner in 2004. Uniquely perhaps, it is not only the winners who become Grand National legends. Devon Loch will forever be etched into the annals of the race, having inexplicably fallen just yards from the finish in 1956, having built a seemingly unbeatable lead.
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    Know the course. Another factor which makes the Grand National stand out is the Aintree course itself. Renowned as one of the toughest courses around, both horse and rider at the Grand National must complete two completions of the notorious track. Along the way, they must successfully negotiate thirty difficult fences. Some of these obstacles are famous, such as Beecher’s Brook and also The Chair, which includes a 5 feet (1.5 m) 2in fence which is preceded by a 6 feet (1.8 m)-wide gully. It is perhaps no wonder that invariably the majority of the race’s starters do not to actually finish. As a result, you know that whoever finishes first past the post on the four miles and four furlongs course can be considered a true champion.
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    Pick a winner. You can do all the research that you want or be the biggest horse racing expert out there. However, picking the Grand National winner is a tough assignment. Due to the difficulty of the course, it is usually one of the most open races. Although it may be simple to see who the favourites are, that is no guarantee that they might win. In addition to looking at the form of the horses, it is also worth checking out the Grand National history of the jockeys and even some of the trainers. Because it really is a race like no other, experience can be crucial in attaining Grand National glory.


  • Have a good time, whether you win or not.
  • Use the services of a reputable bookmaker if you bet online.
  • Invite your friends to enjoy the action with you.


  • Be sure to wager only as much money as you can comfortable lose. Horse racing is a fun entertainment, not a way to get rich quick.

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Categories: Horse Showing and Competition