The Grand National is more than just a horseracing event – it’s a British cultural icon.
And, because it’s so well-known and popular, you might want to know a little more about it before
making a bet on Grand National 2017’s event, so here’s a quick overview.
Firstly, the Grand National isn’t just about horseracing – it’s a huge, three-day event, attracting hundreds
of thousands of people – and not only sportsbettors. And interestingly, the event’s reach is far more than
just the people who make the trip to Aintree to watch everything happen in real time! Most people watch
the event via live-broadcasting, shown in 84 countries with around 500 million people watching the action
Each year, the Grand National grows bigger in scale. 2017’s competition this April will see more than
150,000 people gather at Aintree, where the competition has been hosted ever since its first race. Last year’s
three-day competition’s biggest attraction (with the highest attendance) was on Ladies’ Day, bringing over
47,000 people on that one day alone. And if you’re wondering how much that kind of popularity is worth,
then rest assured that last year’s competition made a cool £30 million for Aintree.
And, that’s not all. In 2017’s competition – the 170th Grand National event – over £1 million will
be given out in prizes for the fourth year running. Last year’s competition’s prizes saw winners take home –
The competition will also continue (as it has done in the past 5 years) to grant awards to the top 10 riders.
And while bookies estimate that over £2 million will be wagered on the Grand National this year, it’s only
the 10th most rewarding horseracing competition in the world, after the Dubai World Cup (combined prize
money: £7.08 million), Australia’s Melbourne Cup (combined prize money: £4 million) and the French
Prix de lÁrc de Triomphe (combined prize money: £3.82 million).
Since 1839, the Grand National has expanded from humble beginnings to the all-in event which
it is today, known internationally as ‘the world’s greatest steeplechase’.
With a course of nearly two and a quarter miles in length, it’s seen as a real test for both jockey and horse.
The entire course is run twice, with 30 fences and a long 494 yard run at the end, which is typically
where most horses falter.
Of the 16 fences to clear during the course, two which stand out are the
notorious Bechers Brook (named after the first Grand National’s winning horse), which is jumped twice
and has a 6ft 9in drop on the landing side. The biggest fence of the course is the Chair Fence, and it is
an opposite challenge to the Bechers Brook, with the landing side higher than the take-off side.
As with other horseracing events, there are a wide variety of bets to choose from. The simplest of all is the
standard and straightforward ‘bet to win’, where you place a bet on the horse you think is most likely to win.
Other potential wagers include each-way betting (betting on the horse to win and to be placed), forecasts
(betting on first and second place horses), tricasts (predicting the top three), accas (multiple, rolling bets,
which can lead to huge wins), and combination accas (which are a bit more complicated, but could be
well worth your while).
It’s well worth your time and money to check out all options your bookie is offering before making a bet.