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The Ultimate Guide to the Grand National

By Dan Cole on 2nd April 2019

If you read us regularly, you’ll know that Luxury Lifestyle Magazine takes more than a passing interest in horse racing. From investing in your own racehorse, to cheering on your picks from some of the most stylish British sporting events on the calendar, we’re passionate about race days. And, let’s be honest, they don’t come any bigger than the Grand National.

There’s something about the Grand National that captures the imagination, not only among the jockeys, trainers and owners themselves, but from the British public too. It is estimated that over half-a-billion people, from over 140 global countries, tune into the steeplechase event, and bookmakers predict that a record £300 million will be placed in bets on that race alone.

If you fancy a flutter, we recommend heading to bookmakers.net to ensure you get the best financial return for your flutter.

Want more information on the Super Bowl of horse racing? Welcome to Luxury Lifestyle Magazine’s ultimate guide to the Grand National.

There is a reasonable amount of debate among historians as to whether the Grand National, as it is known now, first took place in 1836, or 1839

The History

There is a reasonable amount of debate among historians as to whether the Grand National, as it is known now, first took place in 1836, or 1839. The 1836,37 and 38 races are alleged to have taken place at Maghull, nearby, rather than at Aintree, in Liverpool. Newspaper reporting on this is inconsistent, although it is agreed that the first reference to it being a ‘national’ event came in 1839, where the race was held at Aintree.

The non-renewal of the final Great St. Albans Chase in 1838, alongside the opening of a major national railway in Liverpool the same year, led to the increased popularity of the Grand National at Aintree, and in 1839 the racing field was significantly enhanced, with top quality horses and jockeys flocking to Merseyside for the event.

Fast-forward to today, and the Grand National is cemented in the annual racing calendar as one of the highlights of the racing calendar. This is reflected in the competition prize money, which is the highest in Europe, having cleared the total prize fund of £1 million in 2017.

The Logistics

From Home

The 2019 Grand National festival begins on Thursday, April 4, and runs until Saturday, April 6. The titular race, the main-event Grand National steeplechase, takes place at 5:15pm on Saturday, 6 April. If you’re not able to attend the event in-person, don’t worry, as you can watch the event on ITV1, with build-up television coverage starting at 2:20pm.
If you’re attending Aintree for the Grand National festival itself, you’ll find ample travel options available, via either car or public transport.

By Car

If you’re driving, Aintree boasts an 1,800 capacity car park, although this is likely to be close to capacity during the Grand National festival. If you’re using GPS, the postcode of L9 5AS will get you there. Be warned, though, The Jockey Club, the company that manages Aintree, warns that you must pre-book your car parking space. You can do this by contacting calling the booking line on 0344 579 3001.

The 2019 Grand National festival begins on Thursday, April 4, and runs until Saturday, April 6. Image credit: Celtic prints/Bigstock.com

By Rail

The Jockey Club indicates that taking the train is the simplest way of arriving at Aintree, so it might be worth considering this option, particularly if you’re travelling from further afield. Aintree Station lies directly opposite the racecourse, and is easily accessed by services from Liverpool Lime Street. If arriving into Liverpool Central from a National Rail service, you’ll find Lime Street is a short walk from Central station.

The Favourites

Tiger Roll, a 10/1 shot at last year’s Grand National, stormed home to take the crown in 2018. The Gordon Elliott-trained horse will be tough to beat this time around, and is currently priced as the favourite at 7/2. In favourable form, including an impressively simple Cheltenham win recently, leaves the Ireland-based runner a good bet heading into the event.

Also from Ireland is Rathvinden, priced at 10/1, and many experts have got their eye on him. Trainer Willie Mullins has won this event before, and Rathvinden is also exhibiting decent form, including winning the Bobby Jo Chase at Fairyhouse a little over a month ago, cruising home with a gap of 3-and-a-half lengths to his nearest competitor.

Last year’s fourth-placed runner, Anibale Fly, shares 10/1 company with Rathvinden. The France-based horse is a stiff competitor, and experience running well at the Grand National will surely stand him in good stead. He was 11-and-a-half lengths of Tiger Roll’s winning effort last year, but is five pounds lighter.

If you’re looking for each way, or slightly longer odds – our picks are Lake View Lad, at 14/1, and, from way out, Yala Enki, where you can find odds of anywhere between 40-50/1.