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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Grand National

The Grand National is a National Hunt horse race held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England.

There is much debate regarding the first Grand National; most leading published historians now prefer the idea that the first running was in 1836 and was won by The Duke. This same horse won again in 1837. The first few races were local events.

The first official Grand National was held on February 26, 1839 which attracted a larger field of top quality horses and riders, greater press coverage and an increased attendance on race day. It was won by rider Jem Mason on the aptly named, Lottery.

A racehorse belonging to Gregory Peck, Different Class, finished third in the 1968 Grand National.

Red Rum galloped into racing history by winning the Grand National for a third time on April 2, 1977.  He achieved the unmatched historic treble having won in 1973 and 1974, and also came second in the two intervening years (1975 and 1976).

Red Rum in 1980. By Rick Weston from UK - Wikipedia commons

It is a handicap steeplechase over 4 miles 3½ furlongs (7.141 km).

1890 engraving of horses jumping the famous Becher's Brook fence in the Grand National.

There are 30 fences in the Grand National and all but two, the Chair and the Water, are jumped twice.

The Grand National has been won most often by horses beginning with R.

It is the most valuable jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £1 million in 2015.

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