25 Fun Facts about the Grand National!

If you’re thinking of getting into some Grand National 2018 betting then it pays to check out some of the tips from Betfair for the Grand National.

Before you do that though, are you ready to read 25 fun facts about the event? Test your knowledge now!

1. Red Rum famously won 3 times at the Grand National, a record number, but when he was purchased his trainer Ginger McCain thought he could be lame! He managed to help him recover by running him through seawater to go on and achieve his record victory.

2. Bob Champion, a jockey who previously had testicular cancer, recovered and went on to win the race- inspiring a movie about him and his horse!

3. Last year, the prize fund was £1 Million!

4. In 1967, due to a melee of horses, an outsider called Foinavon ran to victory at odds of 100/1!

5. In 1887, Henry Hawley Smart wrote a popular novel set at the Grand National called Cleverly Won

6. The current sponsors of the Grand National include Crabbe’s, Randox and Bentley!

7. In 1956, Devon Loch, a horse owned by the Queen, collapsed mysteriously right before the finish line in an incident that remains officially unexplained.

8. The winning time for the first Grand National was 14 minutes and 23 seconds.

9.  The Aintree Racecourse’s name comes from an ancient Viking settlement.

10. In 1977, the first female jockeys entered the race and in 2012 Katie Walsh set the record of 3rd place which (so far) is the highest placement achieved by a female jockey.

11. The race features a number of named fences but the two most famous are the Chair and the Water Jump where the majority of the more spectacular shots can be seen.

12. In 1929 a record 66 horses took to the field! Since then the numbers have been limited to around 40 for a variety of reasons.

13. Back in 1855, an incredibly lucky jockey called Sam Darling fell from his horse and was knocked out, but the horse behind hit him in the head and managed to wake him up (instead of, well, killing him).

14. In 1929 an amateur called William Dutton entered the race and was told by a friend he’d only win if all the other horses fell. Which they did. Only 2 out of 41 even finished and Dutton won!

15. The jumps are topped with spruce from the lake district to be kicked off by horses as they go.

16. Last years Grand National was one by One for Arthur, ridden by Derek Fox.

17. The sometimes-bizarre names of racehorses are a combination of their Dam and Sire’s name. The often-cited example is Red Rum who came from Maered and Quorum.

18. The youngest jockey to win the race was Bruce Hobbs at just 17 years old.

19. For contrast, the oldest to win was Dick Saunders at the age of 47.

20. In 1993, due to severe miscommunication, the Grand National race was cancelled after a false start had lead to 30 horses running the whole course (setting a record in the process to the chagrin of John White and Esha Ness who landed the second-best time in Grand National history in the unofficial race)

21.  The 1997 Grand national was, unexpectedly, run on a Monday after several bomb threats from the Provisional Irish Republican Army

22. The Grand National was the first Horse Race to be broadcast in HD in the UK.

23. The first woman to train a winning horse was Jenny Pitman in 1983.

24. Count Karl Kinsky was the first international winner of the race.

25. Battleship is currently the only horse to have won both the Grand National and the American Grand National.


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