The Grand National is a National Hunt horse race held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. There really is no race like the Aintree Grand National. No other sporting contest that can take those involved on such an emotional roller coaster in the 10 minutes or so it takes to complete it.

The Grand National at Aintree has been a British sporting institution since 1839, when a horse called Lottery won the inaugural running and Captain Becher parted company with his horse at a now world famous brook.

Here are some more interesting facts and stats on Racing’s Greatest Challenge:

The Grand National is a handicap steeplechase over 30 fences and a distance of 4 miles 3½ furlongs.

The course was founded by William Lynn, a syndicate head and proprietor of the Waterloo Hotel, on land he leased in Aintree from William Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton. Lynn set out a course, built a grandstand, and Lord Sefton laid the foundation stone on 7 February 1829.

No horse priced higher than 50/1 won the National for over half a century between 1950 and 2008. Then Mon Mome (100/1) and Auroras Encore (66/1) won it within a four year period.

Irish-trained horses had a purple patch at the turn of the 20th century, when six won the National in eight years. But there has been no Irish winner since 2007, and there was also a 24-year drought between 1975 and 1999.

Although outsiders do not generally triumph at the National, favourites have not fared particularly well either. Only five of the last 33 races have been won by the favourite.

The seventies were a great time for prolific owners in the National; whichever century you’re dealing with. Only two owners have won the national three times, Noel Le Mare in the 1970s, and James Machell in the 1870s.

Nigel Twiston-Davies is the only current trainer to have won the Grand National more than once. He won with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002).

Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh are the only active jockeys to have won all four nationals – the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh.

The course record time at the Grand National was set in 1990 by Marcus Armytage abroad Mr. Fisk. Armytage was an amateur at the time.

Only two grey horses have ever won the Grand National, and only one in virtually the last 150 years. Nicolaus Silver was the last grey winner in 1961.

Source: Bet Bright

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