The Grand National is more than just a horse race; it’s an institution. Boasting its rich history and unique challenges, this event draws millions of spectators each year from all around the globe.

We will guide you through its complexity to understand why such an unforgettable event takes place each year.

What Is the Grand National?

The Grand National is an annual horse race held at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool in England.

As part of a steeplechase event, horses must jump fences and ditches over an exhausting four-and-a-half-mile distance course, making this race one of the toughest tests of equestrian skill and stamina ever seen in any event calendar.

The Challenge of the Jumps

One of the hallmarks of the Grand National is its 30 jumps. These unique hurdles stand out as some of the highest and most exciting in any other race.

Examples of some famous ones are:

  • Becher’s Brook is an intimidating leap with a landing side lower than its takeoff side.
  • The Chair is one of the widest jumps on the course, with an open ditch on both its takeoff side and landing side for takeoff.
  • Canal Turn is an abrupt 90-degree left turn requiring strategic riding directly after each jump to succeed.

These obstacles put both horse and jockey through rigorous trials, creating an unpredictable yet thrilling race experience.

Tactics on the Track

Success at the Grand National requires more than speed; jockeys must also be strategic about where they position themselves within their pack, conserving energy for when it counts most.

They must also know each jump intimately, including the optimal approach and handling characteristics for various fences.

Riders must strike a balance between pushing forward and keeping their horse safe, as well as keeping him/her stable and steady.

When done successfully, riders can position themselves to make a run for glory on the final stretch.

4 Key Factors When Selecting a Horse for The Grand National

Finding a horse suitable for the Grand National is paramount; it could make or break a jockey’s chances.

Here are the qualities to keep an eye out for:

  • Jumping Skills: When selecting your Grand National horse, remember these fences can be challenging – choose one with excellent jumping ability so it can easily take on these challenging fences without issue.
  • Stamina: Stamina is essential when running long-distance races like the Grand National.
  • Past Performance: Assess a horse’s performance in previous races to get an idea of its potential in this year’s Grand National.
  • Weight: Each horse carries different loads, so finding one that can manage its weight well- heavy or light – will increase your odds of selecting a winning Grand National racehorse.

Famous jockeys and their impact on the race

A.P. McCoy won his maiden Grand National victory on Don’t Push It in 2010, proving both skilled and determined in his ride.

Ruby Walsh stood out, having twice won with Papillon (2000 and 2005) and Hedgehunter (2005), respectively, demonstrating both intelligence and quick thinking as top jockeys.

Richard Dunwoody, Tony McCoy, and George Stevens have also made notable impacts during these races, showing just what skill and courage are necessary to conquer such races as the Grand National.

The Glory of Victory

Attaining victory at the Grand National is no small feat in horse racing.

From its challenging course to its racing horses and unpredictable British weather conditions, winning this renowned event tests your strength, bravery, and skills as much as anything.

When a horse and jockey win races, their success becomes more than just another race; they become legends that fans will remember and celebrate for many years to come.

Does the Grand National allow betting on horses?

Betting during the Grand National is possible and one of the most sought-after betting events in the UK!

Seasoned punters, as well as casual bettors, bet on the Grand National live at Lottoland, with various kinds of bets, from simple win and each-way bets through to more complex forecasts and tricasts—giving this historic race event even more suspenseful spills!


The Grand National is an incredible display of jumps, tactics, and the pursuit of glory that captures everyone who watches it.

Whatever your experience with racing or its related disciplines, something magical about this historic event stands out, so next time the Grand National rolls around, settle in and enjoy watching these equine athletes race their way toward immortality!