The Grand National: A Beginner’s Guide

Lifestyle / March 26, 2019
by Aidan Jenner

With an estimated 600 million people worldwide tuning in to watch, the Grand National is the biggest horse race on earth. Taking place at Liverpool’s very own Aintree every April, there’s £1 million up for grabs for the winner. But it’s so much more than just a horse race. The Grand National is an important day in the British calendar more generally here’s why.

The first reason the Grand National is so huge is that everyone gets involved. In workplaces up and down the country sweepstake names are being drawn out of the hat, email chains are opening begging for tips off the office’s guy in the know. A copy of the racing post is passing from desk to desk with the scribbles growing between the pages. Everyone’s getting ready for a bit of friendly competition. Basically, what we’re trying to say is that it’s one of the few sporting events that brings together fanatics and novices alike.

Everyone’s got a horse to back, no one’s got a clue whether theirs is any good but they’ll go with it, because it’s the Grand National and why the hell not? That’s the spirit.

Our next reason is Ladies Day. Ladies Day at the Grand National is something of a British institution. Forget the race, it’s the girls that steal the show, and they certainly get more coverage in the papers. Way back when, Ladies day was only day of the races women were allowed to attend. However, we’ve come a long way since then and now it’s one of the biggest fashion events of the year. Along with a full racing schedule, Ladies day promises the title of Best Dressed Lady to well, exactly that, the best dressed lady. Expect big hats, big heels, expensive dresses and everything in between.

And it’s not just the girls that dress up. Gents, if you’re heading to the races you’re going to have to scrub up properly. You don’t need to go the whole hog and dig out a top hat but a shirt and shoes will do. We’ve got you covered!

Third up you’ve got the Jumps. With sixteen jumps the Grand National is pretty intense. No it’s gruelling. When you consider that the race’s most famous jump Becher’s Brook is five feet tall with a seven-foot drop waiting for the rider on the other side you can begin to appreciate just how tough the Grand National actually is. That’s sixteen jumps the winner will have battled the whole way to cross the line first and to our mind that’s an impressive feat.

Now it’s time to get down to a few technical points. The whos. The whats. The wheres. So the biggest race in the schedule is the Grand National itself. It takes place at 5.15pm on the final afternoon of the festival. That’s Saturday the 6th of April this year. There will be up to 40 runners taking part hoping to land the prize money each accompanied of course by a jockey. Last year’s winner was Tiger Roll ridden by Davy Russell. They ran a patient race steaming to a lead at the last gasp. We’d be lying if we said we had any idea who is going to win this year (anyway that’s for you to decide). We do know that we’re looking forward to it. Make sure you tune in too.

So there you have it another definitive scotts guide to one of the biggest sporting events in the calendar. You’re welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *