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History of the Grand National Horse Race

The original Grand National Horse Race can be tracked back to the first official races at Aintree Racecourse, which were initiated by Mr.William Lynn, the owner of Liverpool's Waterloo Hotel. Mr Lynn, who leased the land from Lord Sefton, built a course, built a grandstand and staged the first Flat fixture on July 7th. 1829.

The Grand National Horse Race is believed to have been first started in 1836 and was won by The Duke, but there is so much debate among historians, many of whom have trawled the newspaper archives of the United Kingdom, regarding the first official race held. The same horse, The Duke, triumphed again in 1837 while Sir William was the winner in 1838.

The Grand National Race has been disputed for so long because of the belief that in the years 1837 & 1838 the running took place at Maghull and not Aintree. In the last 20 years however, several race historians have unearthed indisputable evidence that these three races were all run over the same course at Aintree and were also regarded as having been the Grand National up until the mid 1860's.

In 1923, the horse called "Sergeant Murphy" became the first American-bred horse to win The Grand National Horse Race. During the Second World War from 1941 to 1945 the race was run at Gatwick Racecourse instead of Aintree. The most successful horse in The Grand National Horse Race History was undoubtedly a horse called "Red Rum", the only horse ever to win The Grand National three times in 1973, 1974 and also in 1977. He also amazingly came in second position in the two intervening years, for 1975 and 1976. What a fantastic record for any horse to achieve for the worlds toughest endurance race. In 1980 "Ben Nevis" from the United States won the race collecting a winning prize money of nearly GBP £46,000.

Some of the legends of The Grand National happened in 1983, when Jenny Pitman become the most popular woman in the racing game by becoming the first woman to train a winner of The Grand National with "Corbiere". Jenny Pitman also had a second victory in 1995 with "Royal Athlete" and she trained the winner of the void race in 1993.

The Grand National is the most long standing arduous race in the world and with over 10 million people in the UK having a flutter every year it seems to continually attract more and more interest and gains new interest every year. The ultimate race, the Grand National seems destined to continue for many years to come.

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