Aintree Grand National Runners and Racecard

The 2020 Grand National has unfortunately been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but the Virtual Grand National will be stepping into its place on Saturday. The UK's leading bookmakers have announced that all profits from the race will be donated to NHS Charities, and with that in mind, we won't be promoting the race on our platforms. Instead, we'll be looking ahead to the 2021 Grand National in 12 months time - in which Tiger Roll will hopefully bid to seal an historic hat-trick of wins in the race.

You can donate to the NHS charity here:- http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHSCharitiesCOVID19

What is the Aintree Grand National?

The most famous horse race on the planet, the Grand National is the single biggest day of the season at Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside. 

Run over a mammoth trip of four miles, two furlongs and 110 yards, and run over the unique National course, the National is the ultimate test of a racehorse, and a maximum field of 40-runners head to post each season. 

The race has undergone several changes in the last few years, both to boost the prize money and to improve the safety of the race for the participants - both equine and human. Indeed, with a prize fund of £1 million on offer since 2017, the race is becoming more and more attractive to the very best staying chasers in training - something shown by the fact that Tiger Roll became the first horse since the great Red Rum in 1974 to win back-to-back renewals of the Aintree spectacular. 

The race hasn't been without drama during its history, and the 1993 renewal was infamously voided due to a false start. However, the event was cancelled for the first time in its 180-year history in 2020 due to health concerns surrounding the outbreak of Covid-19. We'll now look ahead to the 2021 renewal, so keep your eyes peeled on HorseRacing.net for news, views, pointers and tips in the run-up to the 2021 National at Aintree. 

What happened in the 2019 Grand National?

With the 2020 renewal cancelled, we'll look back to the 2019 renewal of the National - which will never be forgotten, as Tiger Roll made history by becoming the first horse since the great Red Rum in 1974 to win the race twice. 

Tiger Roll took his chance off a mark that was 9 lb higher than for his win the previous year, but he arrived at Aintree in the form of his live, having taken apart the field in the previous month's Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Stalking the front-running Rathvinden, Tiger Roll made smooth progress into the race, before moving into the lead ahead of the mare Magic of Light at the final flight, and pulling clear to seal an historic success. Tiger Roll will return as an 11-year-old in 2021, and will bid to become the first horse since Red Rum to win this race three times.

The history of the Aintree Grand National

No race in the world can match the Grand National for history and prestige, and the roll of honour for the Aintree spectacular is a special one. Recent winners of the National include Mon Mome, who memorably cause a 100/1 shock in 2009, and Don't Push It, who gave AP McCoy his first and only win in the race 12 months later.

First run all the way back in 1839, the National has grown not only into a huge sporting event, but also a part of the culture in both the UK and around the world, with a huge TV audience sitting down to watch the race each spring.

The most famous renewal of the race, though, is perhaps from 1967, when the shock of all shocks occurred. A huge pile-up at the 23rd fence ended the chances of a huge majority of the field, and only the tailed-off outsider Foinavon was able to navigate the obstacle at the first attempt. Foinavon was able to build up a huge lead as a consequence, and although several runners remounted and began a pursuit - including the favourite Honey End - their chase was in vein, and Foinavon completed an almighty upset, returning home as a 100/1 winner. 

There have been some memorable moments in recent years, too, including the race that never was in 1993, when a number of runners completed the entire race without realising that a false start was called. That was followed by the Monday National in 1997 after an IRA bomb scare cancelled the original race on the Saturday, while there was only four finishers in a particularly attritional 2001 renewal. Only once has the race ever failed to go ahead completely, though, and it was cancelled in 2020 due to health concerns surrounding the outbreak of Covid-19.

Who is the most iconic winner of the Aintree Grand National?

We have already mentioned Tiger Roll on this page, and he deserves another mention here, but there is no doubt that, for now at least, Red Rum is the clear winner of the category.

The Ginger McCain-trained horse dominated the National in the 1970s - when the race was arguably much tougher to win in terms of the size of the fences and the test on offer - and "Rummy" made the race his own. In five consecutive years between 1973 and 1977 we saw Red Rum win the race three times and finish second in the other two - a remarkable run of form which saw him enter Liverpool folklore. Red Rum is buried at Aintree, and rightly so.

Are there any trials for the Grand National?

There is a tried and tested route to the National, and we will be featuring all the main contenders right here on the way to Liverpool.

In terms of trials, there are two main races in the UK which serve that defined purpose - the Becher Chase at Aintree in early December, and the Grand National Trial at Haydock every February. Other races to note include the Welsh National at Chepstow, the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster and the Eider Chase at Newcastle. Over in Ireland, the Bobbyjo Chase tends to be a target for National runners.  

Who is the most successful jockey in the Grand National?

We have to go back to the 19th century for the leading jockey, with George Stevens claiming the National five times in a relatively short period. Stevens claimed success on Freetrader (1856), Emblem (1863), Emblematic (1864) and the Colonel (1869 and 1870) in the world's most famous steeplechase.

Who is the most successful trainer in the Grand National?

There are three trainers with four wins in the National; George Dockeray, Fred Rimell and Ginger McCain top of the winners table. McCain saw Amberleigh House win in 2004 to add to his three victories with Red Rum (1973, 1974 and 1977), and that was a day that will live long in the memory. 

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