Horse racing has never been a mainstream spectator sport

The Grand National is one of the true highlights of the sporting calendar and every year, over 50 million people from all over the world tune in to watch what is widely regarded as the most prestigious race in the business. 40 of the best National Hunt horses will compete over the four-mile, 30-fence aintree circuit

Grand National Day. Held in April at the Aintree racecourse near Liverpool, the Grand National inspires over a quarter of the UK’s adult population to have a flutter and back one of the 40 runners in the race.

One For Arthur put himself in contention for Aintree recently with a win over 3m5f in a Grade Three handicap chase at Warwick on soft ground. He led that race approaching the last under jockey Derek Fox before being driven clear to score by six lengths ahead of Goodtoknow. Lucinda Russell’s horse finished fifth in the Becher in his opening run at Aintree and is likely to appreciate the step up in trip to 4m4f.

If you are looking to back a horse this year who has been successful before over the Grand National fences, look no further than Vieux Lion Rouge. He was scored in the Becher Handicap Chase back in December where he finished ahead of Highland Lodge by a short-head, while The Last Samuri was a further length back in third. David Pipe’s horse finished eighth in the 2016 Grand National in what was a respectable opening attempt in the world famous steeplechase.

The majority of us make do with sitting down to watch the big race on TV — last year over 10 million watched the Grand National on Channel 4. However, it’s also an event that draws about 150,000 people to attend in person and it can be a thrilling day out. The Aintree Festival actually runs over three days, this year from 6 — 8 April.

The Grand Opening Day is on the Thursday, followed by Ladies’ Day or Fabulous Friday, and then Grand National Day on Saturday, the whole event culminating with the big race at 5.15pm.

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