The Grand National 2014 is nearly with us, the race is part of the world famous Aintree festival. There will be thousands of people visiting the racecourse to watch the races and millions of people watching from the comfort of their own home around the globe. To make this year even more special the prize fund for the festival has risen to a staggering one million pounds! I am sure that nearly all of us have either watched the Grand National and had a bet, it’s the one time in the year that most of us will step foot inside a betting shop.
To give you a little more insight into this famous race here are ten great facts that you may not know:
– The first ever Grand National race was run way back in 1839. The winner that year was fittingly called Lottery and won at odds of 5-1.
– There are 30 fences that the runners need to jump in order to complete the course. The Aintree track is four miles long plus 3 furlongs and then a final 110 yards.
– Of the 30 fences some are better known than others. The highest fence on the course is called ‘The Chair’ and stands at a whopping 5 feet 2 inches tall! The other well known fence is ‘Becher’s Brook’.
– The Aintree racecourse will be visited by over 155,000 people during the festival, nearly half of those people will be there to watch the big race itself.
– Over 600 million people will be watching the race around the world, with over nine million people in the UK tuning in to see if their selection makes it home in front.
– There is a lot of alcohol consumed during the festival. With over 80 bars to choose from on the course I am sure that the visitors will never get thirsty. In is estimated that over 250,000 pints will be consumed, nearly 40,000 vodka shots and 5,000 cocktails. I know there will be some sore heads in the morning after that!
– This race is the 167th time it will be run.
– There is a maximum amount of 40 horses allowed in the race. In the past the lowest number of entries has been 10 and the highest 66.
– It is hard to believe that the youngest ever winner of this great race was aged just 17! Bruce Hobbs won the race back in 1938. The oldest jockey to every win went by the name of Dick Saunders, he won it at the ripe age of 48 in 1982.
– The most famous horse to run the race has to be Red Rum, this iconic horse triumphed on 3 different occasions; 1973, 1974 and 1977.