Everything you need to know about the Grand National
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Grand National: Everything you need to know

| 25.01.2022

All of the vital Grand National information

The Grand National is often referred to as the world’s most famous steeplechase and as one of the biggest events in the horse racing calendar, has a distinguished roll of honour dating back to the first running of the contest back in 1839. 

At Coral the Grand National betting is regularly updated as we build up to the big race which takes place in April each year.

Where is the Grand National held?

The Grand National has always been held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool since its inception when the George Dockeray-trained Lottery claimed the first-ever National. 

The Grand National is the feature of the three-day Grand National Festival and the locals ensure there is a fantastic atmosphere across the three days by dressing in their finery and descending on Aintree in their thousands.

Aintree, Everything you need to know about the Grand National

What time does the Grand National start?

The Grand National carried a mid-afternoon start time for many years but it was recently moved to a slot later in the day to ensure a greater level of exposure on a busy day of sports and to combat equine welfare concerns.

It is now run at a regular start time of 17.15 when the heat from the afternoon sun is on the wane and a time more accessible to other sports fans.

Where to watch the Grand National?

Live coverage of the Grand National is shown all over the world. UK viewers can follow the race in its entirety on ITV and Racing TV.

Coverage includes expert previews and commentary and you can get our own take on all of the big races by reading ITV racing tips.

ITV racing, Everything you need to know about the Grand National

How many horses run­ in the Grand National?

There is a maximum of 40 that go to post in the Grand National and with a spot in the prestigious race hard to come by, there is usually one or two hard luck stories of horses which miss the cut for the final line-up.

How far is the Grand National?

The race is run over a distance of four miles and two-and-a-half furlongs and is a unique test of a horse’s stamina and staying prowess.

A horse’s jumping is also put to the test with the runners having to navigate two circuits of the Grand National course, which only has five races run over it in a season.

They jump 30 fences in total and have to clear some of the most fearsome obstacles in the sport, with signature fences including Becher’s Brook, The Chair and Valentine’s.

Becher's Brook, Everything you need to know about the Grand National

Who is the biggest price winner?

The Grand National is a race famous for producing big priced winners but the biggest of them so far has been 100/1.

The history books show five previous winners with that treble-figure price tag, Mon Mome being the most recent when scoring for Liam Treadwell and Venetia Williams in 2009.

Which horse has won the race the most?

The most successful horse in Grand National history is the great Red Rum who won the race three times for his handler Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain.

He first won the Grand National in 1973 when reeling in the Australian raider Crisp, who had established a 15-length lead jumping the final fence, before returning off a top-weight of 12st in 1974 to hold off two-time Gold Cup winner L’Escargot, who was remarkably carrying 1lb less than the defending champ.

He then completed the famous hat-trick in 1977 when storming 25 lengths clear of the field as a 12-year-old.

Who are the leading jockeys?

George Stevens is the Grand National’s leading jockey with five titles to his name. The first came in 1856 when winning on Freetrader and was followed in 1863 and 1865 and when doing the double on The Colonel in 1869 and 1870.

Davy Russell is the most successful current jockey having guided Tiger Roll to success in both 2019 and 2020.

Tiger Roll, Everything you need to know about the Grand National

Who is the leading Grand National trainer?

Not only did the aforementioned Dockeray win the first-ever Grand National, he also shares the mantle of being the winning-most trainer in the race with the great Fred Rimmell and McCain.

They are all tied on four but it is perhaps McCain whose name is most synonymous with the race and along with Red Rum, is credited with saving the race from extinction when interest was waning in the historic spectacle back in the 1970s.

Gordon Elliott is one away from joining that trio of trainers and is on three Grand National winners. He is the best of those currently in the training ranks.

Who else has won the Grand National?

Some of the best equine and human talent have won the Grand National, with famous names such as AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh and Rachael Blackmore all on the Grand National roll of honour.

In recent years the race has attracted a classier list of entries and Many Clouds became the highest-rated horse of modern times to win when carrying 11st 10lb and defying a mark of 160 when scoring for Oliver Sherwood in 2015.

You can find the details of every single Grand National winner by checking out our Grand National winners list.

View the latest Grand National odds



Adam Morgan