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Grand National Horse Race

The Grand National is usually run on a Saturday in early April at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool City.

The Grand National Horse Race is not only a prestigious race, it is the toughest race in the world. It is one of the highlights of the horse racing year. The race attracts more betting than any other horse race in the United Kingdom and is held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool City.

DateThursday 9th April 2015 to Saturday 11th April 2015
LocationAintree Racecourse
Web linksRelated link

Venue details

Aintree Racecourse
Ormskirk Road
L9 5AS
Telephone No.0151 523 2600
Opening timesOpen for the 6 major race days. Visitor Centre: 1 May-31 Oct daily 10.00-17.00. Closed Christmas Day
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The Grand National race captures people's imagination as the riders try to conquer this arduous race. It is particularly tough for the horse as the length of course exceeds 4 miles and some of the fences are very high and wide. The jockeys have a tough task guiding their horse around the course and only a few of them can make their way to the winning post. The race is almost twice around the Aintree circuit, covering a distance of four miles, which is 494 yards, an extreme distance for a horse race.

There are 16 different unique fences, 14 of which are jumped twice. The most difficult fences are called "The Chair" and "The Water". There is a total of 30 fences in the Grand National compared to other steeplechase courses where they have a maximum of only 20 smaller fences over a shorter distance.

The Grand National fences are difficult to overcome as they are not consistent and vary in both size and degree of difficulty. Most of them are very high and wide and are made of exceptionally stiff material. The problems for the horses initially is the sheer number of horses trying to jump the fences, especially in the early stages and with normally over 40 entrants, this means there is a lot of jostling for position to clear the jumps safely. Many horses fail to make it round even the first circuit of the Grand National course and it is not unusual for horses to fall at the first fence. Horse fatalities are rare, however many horses suffer minor injuries and some of the horses regrettably suffer injuries which require treatment and in some cases it is decided to humanely put the horse to sleep. Every jockey, trainer and horse owner pray that their ride can safely make it round the tough Grand National Course and can safely get to the finish line or get up from any fall and come home safe and sound.

The Grand National Horse Race is a race to test the endurance and stamina of the horse and it attracts gamblers who don't normally bet on a horse race to 'Have a Flutter' and pick a horse. As it's such an open race, the fancied horses and favourites are not always so likely to win or even finish the race and rank outsiders offering good betting odds have just as much chance of finishing and even winning the Grand National.

Millions of pounds are bet on the Grand National and it's attended by royalty, celebrities and leading personalities, as well as politicians from all parties, business owners and ordinary members of the public. Her majesty the Queen and the royal family are keen race goers and owners of race horses which are entered into The Grand National. On the race day itself, when The Grand National is run, The Queen is also in the attendance to cheer on her own horse and hope that the queen's colours can cross the winning post first.

Read more about the history of the Grand National Horse Race.