The Grand National is one of the most famous and spectacular horse races in the world. The sight of 40 horses taking on the unique Grand National fences stirs the blood – and it inspires tens of millions of people to enjoy a flutter on the big race.
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Few sports events, and even fewer horse races, come close to the Grand National’s unique and evergreen appeal.
With a fascinating history dating back to the 1830s, the race is firmly embedded as one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.
It’s not just sports lovers who get involved when the National rolls around. Millions of people who have little or no interest in horse racing traditionally enjoy a once-a-year flutter on the great race.
The history of the event is studded with household names. Golden Miller, the only horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National in the same year. Aldaniti, who made a fairy-tale come true with cancer survivor Bob Champion.
And Red Rum, the greatest of them all, the only horse to win three Grand Nationals.
The character of the race has changed in recent years, with the iconic spruce-covered Grand National fences made more forgiving and the distance shortened by 300 yards to four miles and two-and-a-half furlongs.
But it remains the ultimate test of Grand National horses, and a thrilling spectacle like no other. There are many other excellent long-distance races, and many other regional Nationals. But none captures the imagination and lifts the spirits like the Aintree Grand National.
18+ New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75 to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Full Terms apply. BeGambleAware.org and Bet The Responsible Way.Full T&C's apply
18+ New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. Full Terms ApplyFull T&C's apply
Risk Free 20: 18+,New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.Full T&C's apply
18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10. A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free Bets must be claimed within 7 days upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days. Free Bet stakes not included in returns. Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. Withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs applyFull T&C's apply
As Horseracing.co.uk's ambassador Bryony Frost gears up for her second run in the Grand National, she gave us an insight into the famous track.
Her current rides at the Grand National Festival are also listed below;
In recent years, the three-day Grand National meeting has grown steadily in prestige and prominence.
While the Grand National remains unquestionably the highlight of this festival, the remainder of the card features some cracking contests, and there are now nine Grade One events over the three days.
🏇 TWO DAYS TO GO 🏇— ITV Racing (@itvracing) April 6, 2021
We can't wait for the Randox Grand National Festival LIVE on @ITV!
Tune in to The Opening Show EVERY MORNING of the Festival at 9:30am on @ITV4 🙌#ITVRacing #TheOpeningShow #GrandNational pic.twitter.com/l00yurKG3p
The prizes on offer attract horses who ran at the Cheltenham Festival, runners looking either to double up or to gain a measure of compensation.
But increasing numbers of horses are swerving Cheltenham and making the Aintree Grand National meeting a target in its own right.
Grand National day itself carries an alluring supporting cast of races, including the Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle, but there’s plenty of highlights throughout the week.
The headline race on Thursday, the first day, is the Betway Bowl, which regularly features horses who ran in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Also on the card is the Aintree Hurdle, often a target for horses who ran in the Champion Hurdle. While Friday’s card features the JLT Chase, which attracts stars from the Ryanair Chase and the Champion Chase. There is also one race on both Thursday and Friday over the Grand National fences, the Foxhunters’ and the Topham Chase respectively.
Little wonder the Grand National date is firmly inked into the diaries of racing fans months in advance.
The Grand National provides a fabulous opportunity for new customers to take advantage of some fantastic sign-up offers from bookmakers.
If you’re looking to register with a sportsbook - especially if you’ve been charged with the task of putting a host of bets on for your family or a group of friends - take a look at some of these offers.
Please be aware that some of the offers kick in only when your first bet is settled. It’s worth enjoying a wager on one or more of the other great races at the Grand National fences if you want to use your bonus on the big race itself.
These are just some of the bookmakers with attractive offers for new customers:
Bet365: You can get bet credits up to a maximum of £100 to match your initial deposit.
Betfred: Place a £10 bet and get £30 in free bets.
18+ New UK & NI customers only. promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet of £10 in one bet transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0) . settled within 60 days. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement, 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 60 Free Spins on Justice League Comics. 7-day expiry.Full T&Cs apply.Full T&C's apply
Unibet: Boost your horse racing odds three times a day every day with Uniboost.
18+ www.begambleaware.org, eligible accounts receive three Uniboost tokens daily (00:00-23:59), No token 'roll over' expire at midnight, applies to win bets and win part of EW bets only, only available on racing single bets, Non-runner or voided bet returns Uniboost token, not valid on Futures or Specials. Further T&Cs Apply.Full T&C's apply
888sport: Make your first bet of £10 and get £30 in free bets.
New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & full T&C’s applyFull T&C's apply
BetVictor: Place your first bet of £10 and receive £40 in bonuses.
18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater. Plus, a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. T&Cs Apply, see below. Please Gamble Responsibly.Full T&C's apply
William Hill: Bet £10 and get two £15 free bets when your first bet settles.
Ladbrokes: Make an initial wager of £5 to receive four £5 free bets.
Paddy Power: Place your first bet of up to £20 and if it loses you’ll get your stake back.
Risk Free 20: New customers only, limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or PayPal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. paddy's Rewards Club: get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.Full T&C's apply
It is always worth reading the small print to make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of the offer in question - make sure it suits you and the way you want to bet.
As well as the sign-up offers above, there are also a host of ways in which existing customers can enjoy extra bonus features on the Grand National race.
Many bookmakers offer extra places, so that if you have an each-way bet your horse doesn’t have to finish in the first four to get a return.
Some operators offer each-way coverage on five places, some even go as far as six. Shop around to see who has the best deals.
When it comes to choosing which of the Grand National horses you should bet on, there are some simple do’s and don'ts that should help you to make the most of the fun of Grand National day.
DO look closely at course form. The Grand National fences are unique and not all horses enjoy them, whereas some perform at their best at Aintree.
DO take the going into account. The Grand National date has become later in recent years, so the ground is usually good, but occasionally it turns heavy - if that’s the case, check out which horses prefer that.
DO back horses you know stay at least three miles. The Grand National is the longest race in the UK and stamina is at a premium here.
DO back more than one horse to increase your interest in a 40-runner field.
DO have a fun bet on a long shot because you like their name, their number or the colours the jockey is wearing. Sometimes, much to the chagrin of serious form students, they win.
DO bet each-way. This is a big field and, unless your horse starts at a very short price, you will get a bit of value if your pick finishes in the frame.
DO place your bets early on Grand National day - the odds tend to shorten as race time approaches.
DON’T back seven-year-olds - the last horse of that age to win was Bogskar in 1940. Horses aged between eight and 11 have the best records.
DON’T back grey horses. Yes, they’re beautiful, but Neptune Collonges in 2012 was only the third grey winner in the race’s long history.
DON’T back mares. The last to win was Nickel Coin in 1951.
DON’T back horses who haven’t won over three miles or more.
DON’T back horses who haven’t run this year.
DON’T back horses with too much weight. Only two horses carrying more than 11-05 have won since 1977.
Most of all...
DON’T make it all about the betting, and certainly don’t bet more than you can afford. The Grand National is a race to be savoured and appreciated, not a method for getting rich. Enjoy the spectacle and if your horse does win or finish in the frame, that’s a lovely bonus.
Having a fun bet on one or more Grand National runners should be exactly that - fun.
It’s important to gamble responsibly, and we partner only with sportsbooks who encourage safe and responsible betting.
We believe strongly that you should bet within your means. Don’t bet with money you simply can’t afford - there is no fun in that at all.
All our partner sportsbooks take seriously their focus on responsible gambling. They will provide you with information on self-exclusion if you feel the temptation to bet too much is becoming too strong. They will also provide links to agencies such as Gamcare.
We hope you enjoy Grand National betting as much as we do.
There are 30 fences in the Grand National, all but two of which are jumped twice.
Famous fences include Becher’s Brook, the Canal Turn and the Chair.
The Grand National has been cancelled only because of World Wars and, last year, because of Covid-19.
Grand National prize money now totals £1million, with £375,000 going to the winner.
About £250million is bet on the Grand National in the UK each year.
Up to 600 million people in 140 countries watch the race live on TV.
Tiger Roll, the winner in 2018 and 2019, was only the eighth multiple winner of the race.
Only one man has ridden the winner five times - 19th-century jockey George Stevens.
When is the Grand National?
The 2021 Grand National date is April 10. In its earliest years the Grand National was run in February, before settling on a late March date. It has shifted to mid-April to increase the chance of better ground and to encourage horses who ran at Cheltenham to compete at the Aintree Grand National festival too.
What time is the Grand National?
The Grand National race gets under way at 5.15pm. Traditionally the field left the start at 3.20 but the time has been moved back so that it does not clash with Saturday’s 3pm football matches in the UK. This move has increased the TV audience for the race.
How many fences in Grand National?
There are 30 fences to be jumped by the Grand National runners. Fourteen are jumped twice and two, the Chair and the Water Jump in front of the stands, just once. Becher’s Brook is the sixth and 22nd fence and the Canal Turn the eighth and 24th.
Where is the Grand National held?
The Grand National race is held at Aintree, a few miles to the north of Liverpool city centre. The race used to be held in open countryside, with the runners jumping the fences between fields. The course in its current form was finalised in 1888, and in the decades since the city suburbs have gradually encircled it.
Will the Grand National be cancelled?
No. The Aintree Grand National was cancelled during both World Wars, and in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 1993 race was declared void because many runners ignored a false start being called. The 2021 race goes ahead but behind closed doors - no spectators are allowed back at elite sports events yet.
How long is the Grand National?
The distance of the Aintree Grand National was recently reduced to four miles and two-and-a-half furlongs. It is still the longest horse race in the UK, but it is about 300 yards shorter than its traditional distance for more than 100 years, which was four miles and 856 yards.