The countdown to this years Grand National race at Aintree is almost upon us, with the race taking place tomorrow and there’s plenty of prep you can do before the big race.
We’ll start with the basics:
What is the Grand National?
Aintree Racecourse will hold nearly 150,000 racegoers over the course of 3 days.
What time does the race start?
A total of 21 races will take place during the Grand National meeting but the big one will take place at 5:15pm on Saturday 14th April.
Where is it?
As always, Aintree racecourse about 6 miles outside of Liverpool is the site for the race and it’s been held their since 1839.
What TV Channel is it on?
The National is on ITV for the second year win a row after winning the broadcasting rights to show racing. Ed Chamberlin will be their main presenter, a familiar face for any football fans out there who is on SkySports and he’s determined to make horse racing more popular.
What are some of the famous fences?
The Aintree fences are not quite as perilous as they were once upon a time after a series of accidents. However, they are still the most notorious obstacles in horse racing and are sure to get jockey’s palms sweaty and their hearts racing. Some have argued that making the fences smaller has actually made the race more dangerous.
Becher’s Brook: The sixth and 22nd fence in the race may not be the biggest, but it’s difficulty comes from the fact the landing side is 10 inches lower than the take off side. The fence is named after Captain Martin Becher, a jockey who fell at this stage and hid in the brook to avoid getting trampled on by other jockeys.
The Chair: The tallest fence on the course and it now stands at five foot three inches.
Foinavon: One of the smaller fences on the course is named after the 100/1 horse who avoided a disastrous mass pile-up here in 1967 and went on to win the race in almost comedic fashion.
Canal Turn: As the name suggests, horses must take a sharp turn to the left after jumping this five foot obstacle which is notoriously hard for horses who can reach 40mph. Another Aintree myth is that horses who refused to turn and continued to run straight ended up in the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
Tickets are still available to buy on the day for £29 and you can actually walk the entire course on the morning of the race (subject to ground conditions and security requirements). Walkers should make sure they have an hour to do a circuit, and the lap must be completed one hour prior to the first race. Maps, guiding racegoers to the starting point, are located around the racecourse.
Tips: Gas Line Boy and Seeyouatmidnight (25-1 and 15-1)