The John Smith’s Grand National

Thursday March 11, 2010


The Grand National is an event everyone in the UK is familiar with and many more people across the world as well.  This is the most famous horse racing event in the entire yearly calendar, and it takes place in April each year.

Grand National Betting Offers

Understandably Grand National betting is also very popular.  Even people who do not normally bet on any kind of sporting event often have a flutter on the race.  But how much do you know about it?


Where does the race take place?

The Grand National takes place at Aintree every year.  This course is located just to the north of Liverpool and to the west of St Helens.  It is easy accessible by road and is very close to both the M57 and the M58.

What type of race is it?

It is known as a steeplechase.  There are various fences to be jumped – thirty in all – and the two and a quarter mile course is run twice during the course of the race, making it around four and a half miles long in total.

Some of the fences are very famous in the Grand National, none more so than the Chair and Becher’s Brook.  These are generally agreed to be the two hardest jumps in the whole course.

Becher’s Brook is so called because Becher is the name of a jockey who took part in the first ever Grand National, way back in 1839.  He was not able to get to safety until the rest of the horses and riders had gone over the fence, so he hid as well as he could by the fence until they had all gone over.

Why do so many people get into Grand National betting?

The Grand National is widely regarded as the most famous and demanding race in the horse racing calendar.  There are many reasons for this, not least the fact that the course and fences are very challenging. 

Perhaps it is this that encourages so many people to bet.  Every jockey will also tell you that of all the races they could win, the Grand National is the one they would love the most to say they won.  Skill, determination and probably a certain amount of luck are all involved, and a big field starts the race each time as well.

This means there are plenty of horses and riders to bet on, and the profile of the race means that Grand National betting is very popular among those who don’t bet for the rest of the year.

Why is the Grand National so exciting?

One of the main reasons must surely be that you simply don’t know who will win.  Experience and the skills of both the horse and the jockey obviously count for something, but in 2009 a 100/1 outsider won the race.  So as you can see anything can happen and it usually does.

Not all the horses and jockeys will finish either – in 1928 just two horses and jockeys made it over the line.  The challenging fences and the sharp turn which occurs halfway through means that every single skill a rider and horse has will be tested to the limit.

This is no doubt one of the reasons why Grand National betting is so popular.  Everyone has a chance of winning, no matter which horse they choose.