Grand National Fences

The Chair fence at Aintree.
The Chair fence at Aintree.

The Grand National is run over the most unique race-circuit in the country. With 30 fences to negotiate over a trip of four miles and two and a half furlongs, there is no race quite like the Grand National - and millions around the world tune in to watch the 40 runners take their chance each year.

Although new measures were implemented to improve the safety of the fences on the National Course in 2012, the fences offer a unique test, and the majority of Grand National runners each year still fail to complete the race. Aintree's National Course is nearly two and a quarter miles in circumference, there are 16 fences and a run in of 494 yards. Two of the most famous fences on the course are Becher's Brook and the Canal Turn, which the 2013 National-winning jockey Ryan Mania discusses below.

The Canal Turn with Ryan Mania:

Becher's Brook with Ryan Mania:

Aintree Fence-By Fence Guide

Fences 1 & 17: Plain fence

Perhaps the worst fence to see the horse you’ve backed depart at, the first fence is a standard National obstacle, though it regularly causes drama - and two runners departed at the first fence in 2019. 

Fences 2 & 18: Plain fence

The second fence arrives very quickly after the first, and although it is a standard obstacle it is one inch bigger than the one before it.

Fences 3 & 19: Open ditch

More daunting-looking than the first two fences, the open ditch is the first real jumping test for the runners, and is a couple of inches taller to boot. Spanning six foot, the ditch requires a horse to stretch out in order to jump it cleanly, and it regularly catches one or two out. 

Fences 4 & 20: Plain fence

This fence is the same height as fence three, but without the ditch.

Fences 5 & 21: Plain fence

Regularly referred to as ‘the fence before Becher’s’, fence five is the same height as Becher’s Brook, but doesn’t have as much as a drop. 

Fences 6 & 22: Becher's Brook

Arguably the most famous fence of them all, Becher’s Brook features a steep drop on the landing side. Named after Captain Becher, who fell at this fence in the first ever running of the race, Becher’s Brook is 4”10 tall, with the landing side dropping six inches. The drop is more forgiving the wider you go, about six inches at its widest, and more inexperienced jockeys tend to take a wider path at this fence. 

Fences 7 & 23: Foinavon

One of the least imposing fences on the course, Foinavon has perhaps the best story behind it - causing carnage in the 1967 renewal, when a colossal pile-up at the fence allowed 100/1 no-hoper Foinavon to build up an unassailable lead. Standing at 4”5 tall, the race can cause more trouble than might be expected for horses who are still recovering from the demand of Becher’s Brook. 

Fences 8 & 24: Canal Turn

Another unique test, Canal Turn poses runners with a sharp 90-degree turn immediately after jumping the fence, and runners tend to try and stick the the inside in order to save as much ground as possible. 

Fences 9 & 25: Valentine's Brook

Standing at 5 foot tall, with a 5”6 brook on the other side, Valentine’s was named after Valentine, who appeared to jump the fence hind-legs first. 

Fences 10 & 26: Plain fence

A five-foot-tall plain fence, at what starts to become the business end of the race when jumped for the second time. 

Fences 11 & 27: Ditch

Known as the Booth, the fence is the same height as the previous fence, but with a six-foot ditch on the landing side. 

Fences 12 & 28: Ditch

Known as Westhead, this is another fence that stands at five-feet, with a 5”5 ditch on the landing side. The runners cross the Melling Road after this fence, the point which is traditionally considered to be the closing stages of the race. 

Fences 13 & 29: Plain fence

Standing at 4”7, this fence is one of the smaller obstacles on the course, and offers the runners a minor breather before the finale. 

Fences 14 & 30: Plain fence

The final fence on the second circuit. Standing at once inch smaller than the fence before it, the last obstacle doesn’t tend to have too much of an impact on the finish before the long ‘elbow’ run-in, which is a seemingly never-ending 494 yards long. 

Fence 15: The Chair

Only jumped once, the Chair is one of the most difficult fences on the entire course. Located in-front of the main grandstand, the fence is six foot tall, with a 5”2 ditch in-front of it. On top of this, there is a six-inch rise before the fence, making it essentially the opposite to Becher’s Brook. 

Fence 16: Water jump

The smallest obstacle on the course at two and a half feet, the Water Jump offers some relief for the runners before they take on the second circuit. 

The 'elbow' run-in

As mentioned above, after the runners have safely cleared all 30 fences, they must negotiate the 'elbow' - which is the longest run-in of any horse race in the UK, 494 yards, with an elbow roughly half-way up the run-in. Many races have been won and lost on this final scramble to the finishing post.

Grand National Tips
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Bet £19 get £66 in Free Bets

#AD New customers on mobile only. Stake min amount of £19 (odds 1.8 or greater) on any sporting event. Promotion available between 14/11/22 - 01/12/22. Max 4 x £10, 4 x £5, 1x £6 Free Bets credited on qualifying bet settlement on selected events. 1x claim per customer. Void, cashed out, partially cashed-out bets do not qualify. Each Way bets, system bets, and profit boosts are not permitted for qualifying bet. Free bets expire after 7 days of qualifying bet settlement. T&C’s Apply
Double the odds, any sport, any bet, any odds!
#AD 18+ Only valid for new registrations to Grosvenor Existing members do not qualify, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total). Customers have 60 days after registration to use the Odds Boost token. T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code SPTS365 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code R30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 & Get £35 In Free Bets + £10 Multiple
#AD 18+ Place a £10 bet on Horse racing at min. odds 1/5 (1.2) — get £35 in free bets + £10 free Horse Racing Multiples Bet. Only deposits via cards will qualify, Apple pay not valid on this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £10 + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) mobile only. £20 in FREE Bets (FB) as £10 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7 day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+.  T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets + 2 x £5 free Winning Favourites spread bets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Ts&Cs Apply. 18+
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only |
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
Latest racing results
1stGreat State
2ndSoaring Eagle
3rdSo Many Questions
3rdEmperor Zen
1stSole Solution
2ndBlue Fin
3rdWay Out
View All Today's Results