News for 2018 Aintree Grand National Festival
The three day festival is currently sponsored by Randox Health. It kicks off on 12th April with Grand National Thursday which will be a celebration of sporting champions of Merseyside sport at all levels.
The racing will include 4 Grade One jumps contests, the highlight being the Betway Bowl over 3m 1f of the Mildmay course. Past winners of this prestigious race include Wayward Lad, Desert Orchid, See More Business, Florida Pearl, Siliviniaco Conti and Cue Card.
Principal Aintree Facts, Figures and Top Trends.
The most prestigious and famous race held at the racetrack is the John Smith's Grand National Chase (Handicap) Grade 3 which takes place every year in April and the 2011 renewal was won by Ballabriggs trained by Donald McCain with prize money of £535,135.
Donald McCain's father, Ginger McCain trained the most successful horse of the race, Red Rum, who won 3 times; in 1973, 1974, and 1977 and was runner-up in 1975 and 1976.
The Grand National is probably the most famous horse race over fences in the world and run over 2 circuits of the course totalling 30 fences and a distance of 4m 4f.
Two fences of particular difficulty are Becher's Brook and The Chair although the racecourse authorities have done much to make them safer in recent years.
It is interesting to note that the original running of the race in 1839 required the horses to leave the racecourse and run over open countryside towards the Leeds and Liverpool canal, leaping the gates, hedges and ditches they encountered on the way, eventually returning to run the length of the course and then repeat the exercise.
The highest class hurdle race is the John Smith's sponsored Grade 1 run in April and the 2011 renewal is won by Oscar Whisky trained by Nicky Henderson with prize money of £90,432.
The Aintree Racecourse also features a 30 Bay Floodlit Driving Range and a 9 hole golf course in the centre of the track.
The most successful National Hunt jockeys to ride here are:
R Walsh 19–88 22% -15.86
A P McCoy 16–126 13% -21.63
Paddy Brennan 11–109 10% -17.50
Robert Thornton 11–91 12% -36.82
Tom O´Brien 11–69 16% +5.68
The most successful National Hunt trainers are:
Paul Nicholls 20–148 14% -67.36
Peter Bowen 16–94 17% +110.30
Nicky Henderson 15–104 14% +14.28
Nigel Twiston-Davies 13–112 12% -25.50
Alan King 12–102 12% -46.62