All eyes will be on Aintree on Saturday for the Grand National in what’s set to be another thrilling instalment of the world’s most famous horse race.
Make sure you’re all set for the big one with our Grand National A-Z of facts and check out our top Grand National fancies on the links below.
A – Aintree
The home of the Grand National, Aintree is located on the outskirts of Liverpool and was opened in 1829.
B – Becher’s Brook
Becher’s is jumped twice in the Grand National – as the 6th and 22nd fence – and was infamously known as one of the most difficult fences in the race but in recent years alterations have made it far safer.
C – Cloth Cap
The current ante-post favourite for the race, Cloth Cap is owned by Trevor Hemmings who has won the Grand National three times already – with Hedgehunter in 2005, Ballabriggs in 2011, and Many Clouds in 2015.
D – Don’t Push It
Tony McCoy had won it all as a jockey, except the Grand National – step forward Don’t Push It who McCoy finally partnered to glory in 2010.
E – The Elbow
The kink on the run in as the contenders head for the winning post and glory – if your horse is leading here you’re in with a great shout of landing a winner.
F – Foinavon
1967 saw a massive pile-up at the 23rd fence which allowed 100/1 outsider Foinavon to skip clear and win the race – the famous fence now bears his name.
G – Greys
Only three grey horses have ever won the Grand National – The Lamb in 1868 and 1871, Nicolaus Silver in 1961, and the Paul Nicholls trained Neptune Collonges in 2012.
H – Hedgehunter
Hedgehunter won the Grand National in 2005 to give Willie Mullins his first-ever winner of the race – can Mullins land a second success this year with Burrows Saint?
I – Ireland
Irish trained horses have won the Grand National nine times since 1999 including Rule The World in 2016 and Tiger Roll in 2018 and 2019.
J – Jumping
Jumping is the name of the game in the Grand National with 30 fences jumped in total – 16 on the first circuit and 14 on the second circuit.
K – Katie Walsh
Katie Walsh became the first-ever female jockey to place in the Grand National when she finished 3rd on Seabass – could Rachael Blackmore join her this year?
L – Liverpool
Aintree is Liverpool and the Grand National is a focal point for the city every year.
M – Mon Mome
2009 saw another 100/1 winner of the Grand National as Mon Mome and the late Liam Treadwell ran out 12-length winners of the race for trainer Venetia Williams.
N – Nicky Henderson
He may be Champion Trainer six times but Henderson is still to saddle the winner of the Grand National – could Ok Corral finally be the one this year?
O – One For Arthur
One For Arthur was just the second-ever Scottish winner of the Grand National in 2017 at odds of 14-1 – trained by Lucinda Russell he also placed 6th in the 2019 National.
P – Papillon
Papillon landed a huge gamble in the 2000 Grand National and was Ruby Walsh’s first-ever winner in the race, riding for his dad Ted.
Q – Quirky Picks
The Grand National is so popular that even your Nan has a bet on it and punters are never short of weird ways of choosing their National picks – including the colour of the jockey’s silks or their ‘lucky’ number.
R – Red Rum
Winner of the Grand National in 1973 and 1974, Red Rum was then 2nd in 1975 and 1976 before sealing a third victory in 1997 – he died in 1995 and is buried next to the winning post at Aintree.
S – Spectators
A crowd of around 70,000 normally cheer home the Grand National winner but due to COVID restrictions, attendees at Aintree this year will be limited to owners and stable staff.
T – Tiger Roll
The winner of the Grand National in 2018 and 2019 Tiger Roll will sadly not be back to defend his title this year but he will be running in the Aintree Bowl on the Thursday at Aintree.
U – Unseated
What you don’t want to happen to your jockey in the Grand National but with 30 fences to jump, plenty horse and jockey partnerships fail to remain intact.
V – Void Race
1993 saw the infamous void race following chaotic scenes where 30 of the 39 runners failed to notice a false start had been declared with Esha Ness running out the winner of the race that never was.
W – Weight
The Grand National is a handicap so each horse is allocated a weight to carry based on its form and ability – Tiger Roll is bypassing this year’s National due to connections feeling the weight he was allocated was too high.
X – X-Rated
After winning the Grand National on Rough Quest jockey Mick Fitzgerald said live on BBC that the experience had been ‘better than sex’ – it’s unknown what Mrs Fitzgerald had to say about this.
Y – Youngest
The youngest jockey to ever win the Grand National was Bruce Hobbs who was 17 when he partnered to Battleship to glory in 1938.
Z – Zongalero
Zongalero was trainer Nicky Henderson’s first-ever runner in the Grand National back in 1979, finishing an impressive 2nd to the winner Rubstic – unbelievably it’s still Henderson’s best-ever National placing.