With almost 200 years of history, and many instantly recognizable entrants and incidents, the Grand National is perhaps the world’s most famous horse race. Taking place at Aintree racecourse near Liverpool, England every Spring, the race is run over a distance of almost four and a half miles, with several difficult fences to be jumped along the way.
This test of stamina and technique is unique for both horse and jockey, and makes for a spectacular event for the spectators. As well as the world class horse racing, those attending the festival at Aintree have the chance to dress up as extravagantly as they want, especially on Ladies’ Day on April 4th.
This year’s Grand National takes place the day after Ladies’ Day, on April 5th, and will feature some of the biggest names in jumps racing. One popular entrant will be Long Run, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, another major race, in 2011. Priced at 20/1 with Coral, this would be a spectacular result if Long Run were to win the Grand National, adding to his illustrious reputation.
Elsewhere, the current favourite to take victory is Teaforthree, at odds of 12/1. However, the Grand National has a habit of throwing up surprise results, with last year’s winner, Auroras Encore, winning at 66/1 being a classic example.
Travelling to The Grand National
So if you’d like to witness the world’s greatest steeplechase first hand, Aintree is extremely convenient to get to and will provide the spectators with a day they will never forget.
The United Kingdom has an extremely comprehensive travel network, making travelling to Aintree from anywhere a simple task. For those coming to the festival from overseas, Aintree is best served by the local Liverpool John Lennon airport, which is just a 20 minute bus ride away, or Manchester International airport, approximately 45 minutes away by car.
Aintree racecourse has its own train station directly opposite the racecourse, and trains run extremely regularly on race day from nearby Liverpool Lime Street station. This station, in turn, connects to many major cities including Leeds, Manchester and London.
Finally, Aintree is also well served by road networks, with the M62 and M6 motorways being close-by and linking Aintree to the whole of the United Kingdom.
If you fancy an experience of a lifetime at one of Britain’s great social and sporting events, give the Grand National a try, you may even pick the winner!