The Grand National is an annual horse racing event that's held at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool. Every year millions of punters will place bets in hope that their horse makes it around the racecourse and finishes in first. In celebration of this historic sporting event, we thought we'd show you 8 facts about the historic horse race that perhaps you didn't know.
The First Grand National
The first Grand National was officially held in 1839 but it started two hours late after confusion over weighing procedures. Eventually the race started and the winner was won by 5-1 favourite Lottery and was ridden by Jem Mason, who was know for his exquisite dress sense.
The first 5 Grand Nationals included one jump that was a stone wall, where the water jump now stands. The Fence "Becher's Brook" earned its name when a top jockey, Captain Martin Becher, fell off his horse and had to take shelter in the brook. The tallest fence on the course is named "The Chair" and it stands at a mighty 5ft 2in, and is proceeded by a 6 foot wide ditch!
That's a lot of Alcohol!
It's been said that there will be roughly 77,000 people at Aintree to watch the Grand National. To cater for all these punters, there's over 80 bars at the venue and it's believed they will consume a quarter of a million pints of beer, 38,000 and 5,000 cocktails. On top of all that, punters will also enjoy 75,00 cups of tea and coffee, as well as 3,500 rumps of lamb!
The Least and Most Finishers
The greatest number of horses to finish the Grand National was in 1984 where 23 horses finished the race, and was won by Hallo Dandy and was ridden by Neale Doughty. The least amount of finishers was in 1928 where just 2 horses finished the race! The winning horse was Tipperary Tim who was a 100-1 outsider and it was said the jockey riding the horse heard a friend shout " Billy Boy, you'll only win if all the others fall". How right he was.
Moiffa, The Disappearing Winner
The winner of the 1904 Grand National, Moiffa, had an unusual build up to his eventual success at Aintree. A year before the Grand National the horse had disappeared. It was thought that he went down with the ship that was carrying him from New Zealand to Liverpool and had to swim 50 miles to shore! However the horse was picked up from an uninhabited island by a local fishing boat and returned back to the mainland, where his trainer reclaimed him and he went on to win the National! Some say that it was a different horse arriving from New Zealand that was stranded and won but we'd like to believe the legend!
The Youngest and Oldest Winners
The youngest winning jockey to win the Grand National is Bruce Hobbs who won it in 1938 at the age of just 17 years of age! The oldest winning jockey is Dick Saunders, who was 47 years old in 1982.
An Unwanted Record
Richard Johnson holds the record for the most rides in the Grand National without a win, a record he's probably not too happy to hold. His best effort was on What's Up Boy's where he finished in second place. This year it'll be his 20th attempt for a win and we all hope he finally breaks his duck.
The horse to win the most Grand Nationals is Red Rum. The record-breaking horse won the National three times, in 1973. 9174 and 1977. He also finished in second place in both 1975 and 1976. Red Rum is therefore rightly buried at the winning post at Aintree. The perfect resting place wouldn't you agree?
Everyone here at Gadget Inspector hopes you enjoy the race and please gamble responsibly!