Guest Author: Poppy Gallagher
This year’s Grand National is only a mere few days away and the final list of 40 horses and jockeys has been announced. Although they have been announced they are not certain to run as any contestants can pull out, even on the very day at the latest. The four reserves waiting for one to pull out include Bishop’s Road, Knock House, Perfect Candidate and Maggio.
With the Grand National fast approaching many become keen to learn the horses and their odds to make a bet. The favourite to win this year, with the best odds is the winner of last year’s Grand National, Many Clouds. If you are finding it too difficult in choosing a horse to bet on why not hedge your bets with a Grand National Horse Generator to do all the work for you. Millions of people either get tickets or tune into watch the Grand National; it has become the biggest and the most well-known horse sporting race and dates back to 1839. The Grand National is a sport that has not only had some amazing victories but great losses too, so here is a brief overview of the history of The Grand National.
The First Grand National Race was first staged in 1839, the 5/1 favourite for the first race, Lottery, appropriately named did indeed take home the lottery and won. Back when the races first started the horses had to jump a stone wall, cross a large stretch of ploughed land and finish over two hurdles. Instead of it being referred to as the Grand National it was known as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase.
There were 3 major significant events that transformed the Liverpool race from a small local affair to the national event we know today as the Grand National. The firstly, the Great St. Albans Chase, which had clashed with the steeplechase at Aintree was no longer renewed after 1838, leaving a major hole in the horse racing calendar. The next event was that the railway arrived in Liverpool, which allowed more and more people the chance to access the course through a new mode of transport. The last, a committee was established to organise the event for the masses and transformed it into one of the biggest sporting events.
The Grand National has a very varied past including some of the most extraordinary wins to the saddest moments for the nation. One of the most popular and famous horses would be Red Rum although it has been more than 40 years since his victories he has been known as a phenomenon. Red Rum is still the only horse in the history of the Grand National to have won three times; his victories include 1973, 1974 and 1977. Red Rum also finished in second place in his other two starts, and became the greatest Grand National performer; he achieved all of this after overcoming the bone disease, pedal osteitis. He sadly passed away in 1995 and the legendary competitor has a life-size bronze statue to commemorate him.
Not Without Loss
Unfortunately when it comes to the Grand National it isn’t just money that the nation has lost. The biggest list of deaths is that 80 horses have passed away due to the races since they first started in 1839. Amongst the deaths has also been a jockey, Joe Wynne who passed away in 1862 due to injuries he sustained during a race. Hopefully the bad luck is now being kept in the past as there haven’t been any deaths since 2012.
Last year’s winner, Many Clouds, has defied all odd and trends with his win at the Grand Nationals last year. Looking through the Grand National’s history many can make predictions in identifying the type of horse that is set to win the Grand National, mainly based on age and weight. Many Clouds completely disregarded that trend when he won last year carrying a staggering 11 stone 9 when many previous winners had won from far lower weights. He was only 8 when he won in 2015 with all other previous winners being aged between 9 and 12. The criteria used when trying to suss out the potential winners has now been blow out of the water. Although for this year’s Grand National, Many Clouds is the favourite with the best odds to win.