20 Interesting Facts About The Grand National
The Grand National remains the world’s biggest horse race so, just in case you want to impress the regulars down your local bookies or boozer this weekend – we’ve compiled 20 interesting facts about the Grand National.
1# The first winner of the Grand National was, ironically perhaps, named Lottery – and many punters still think the race is very much a lottery.
2# The most famous winner of the Grand National is Red Rum, and the crowd’s favourite horse won the race in 1973, 1974 and 1977. He had a tremendous heart, one which saw him live until the ripe-old age of 30. He died in 1995, and was touchingly buried at the winning-post where he strived so hard to get his head in front.
3# The Grand National prize-fund for 2017 is £1 Million, with the winner receiving around £560,000.
4# The reduced Grand National Course measures 4-miles, two furlongs and 74-yards, and for jockeys it is arguably the most exciting 9-minutes off their lives – Mick Fitzgerald even said riding the winner was even better than sex.
5# The 1967 Grand National is best known for a pile-up that saw 100/1 shot Foinavan secure an unlikely win. However, whilst most people know that, the horse that caused that pile-up was called Popham Down.
6# Most of us will never have heard of George Stevens, but the 19th century jockey still holds the record for the most wins in the race – 5.
7# Three trainers have had 4 winners of the Grand National, George Dockeray, Fred Rimmel and Ginger McCain.
8# Three Owners have each enjoyed three wins in the race, James Octavius, Noel Le Mare, and Trevor Hemmings.
9# Two jockeys have currently ridden in the Grand National 20-times, A P McCoy and Richard Johnson. However, whilst McCoy got his winner on Don’t Push It, Johnson has yet to ride a Grand National winner.
10# 100/1 is the biggest-price of any winner, and Tipperary Tim, Gregalach, Caughoo, Foinavan and Mon Mome were all returned at that price.
11# The shortest-priced winner was the 1919 winner Poethlyn, who was returned at just 11/4.
12# Four horses have amazingly humped top-weight of 12-7 to victory, though the top-weight now is set at horse-friendly 11-10.
13# The lowest weight ever carried to victory was 9-6, and that will remain a record as the bottom-weight is now 10-0.
14# Four Favourites have won in the last 20 years.
15# The least number of finishers is 2, back in 1928, whereas 16 completed the field last year.
16# In 1984, a record 23 of the 40 runners finished the race.
17# The maximum number of starters is now 40, which sometimes still looks crowded, but a record 66 horses started the race in 1929.
18# Four Grand Nationals have been won by grey-horses, with 2012 winner Neptune Collonges breaking a 51-year gap since the previous grey winner.
19# No mare has won the Grand National since Nickel Coin in 1951, though she was the 13th Mare to win the race.
20# 9-year-olds have won over 26% of all Grand Nationals.