Horse Racing Grand National
Horse Racing Utopia at the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool
Saturday 9th April 2016 the focus of the United Kingdom will be on Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool. It will be time for The Crabbie’s Grand National to be run. This is not just a big horse racing event. This is THE horse racing event. The legendary runners and riders who have triumphed in the Grand National, have inspired so many stories, books, songs and movies that it forms very folklore of horseracing. From the legendary triple-winning success of Red Rum, to our current darling of Aintree, Many Clouds, the Grand National has captured the imagination of the British public over the last two centuries.
Grand National Details
In correct and accurate detail, the Grand National is a National Hunt horse racing event held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. First run in 1839, it is a handicap steeplechase over 4 miles 3½ furlongs, or 7.141 km, with horses jumping 30 fences over two laps. It is the most valuable jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £1 million in 2015. The fences on this course are much bigger than the conventional ones, and the physical prowess required from both horse and rider just to finish the course is impressive.
Many of the individual fences on the course, Becher’s Brook, The Chair, Melling Road and the Canal Turn, for instance, have become famous in their own right and, combined with the distance of the event, create what has been called ‘the ultimate test of horse and rider’. ‘Red Rum’ won the race a record three times, a feat that may never be matched such is the gruelling nature of the race.
Whatever the results of the 2016 Grand National at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, the spectators are in for a treat. The National is always a showpiece for exciting horse racing and this is borne out by the fact that the pubs, clubs and living rooms up and down the country are always packed with people cheering on their chosen horse. Everyone has a bet on the Grand National; it has become a British tradition.
Grand National Legends
The most recent edition of this Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool horse racing spectacle, in 2015, was won by Many Clouds and ridden by jockey Leighton Aspell for trainer Oliver Sherwood and owner Trevor Hemmings. The five legends inducted into the Grand National Legends initiative were Ginger McCain and his record three-time winning horse Red Rum, John Buckingham and Foinavon, the unlikely winners in 1967, Manifesto, who holds the record for most runs in the race, eight including two victories, Jenny Pitman, the first woman to train the winner of the race in 1983, and Sir Peter O’Sullevan, the commentator who called home the winners of fifty Grand Nationals on radio and television from 1947 to 1997.
Around 600 million people in 140 countries will watch enthralled as 40 runners charge towards the first of thirty fences at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool in a horse racing event that is steeped in mythology. And it will not stop until the results are posted.