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.
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