The first official running of the “Grand National”

Grand National , also called Grand National Handicap Steeplechase , British horse race held annually over the Aintree course, Liverpool , in late March or early April; it attracts more attention throughout the world than any other steeplechase . The race was instituted in 1839 by William Lynn, a Liverpool innkeeper, and its present name was adopted in 1847.

Starting a race by lining up 40 horses full of adrenaline armed with only a flag and a line of tape is tricky to say the least. An invasion by animal rights protesters before the start only added to the tension and at the first attempt to start the race a jockey got tangled in the tape (which was not tight enough) and a false start was declared with the field having to be brought back before they reached the first fence.

The horses were lined up again and as the rope was raised a jockey got tangled again and once again a false start was declared only this time the flagman who should have signalled to the jockeys to turn back before the first fence did not do so and so thirty of the thirty nine horses carried on oblivious.

The race is run over two circuits of Aintree’s National Course , which is triangular in shape and on which there are sixteen fences. [ 1 ] All, except The Chair and the Water-Jump, are jumped twice. Some fences are notorious for their severity, particularly Becher’s Brook [ 4 ] and The Chair, although in recent years this severity has been much reduced due to pressure from various animal rights groups. The Grand National is the centrepiece of a three-day meeting, one of only four run at Aintree in the racing season.

Grand national is irrational, unpredictable, emotional, vivid, dangerous. It will join the growing list of shows across the country moving to a pay-per-view model. It has a long, vibrant, and often sensational – occasionally farcical – history. It can be run only at Aintree. Grand national is so much more than a horse race.The Grand National is a sporting occasion like no other and the drama of the world’s biggest and most popular horse race makes for a truly exciting spectacle. With such huge expectations on the race, how do you go about choosing a horse in the Grand National? Here are a few things to consider before picking a winner.

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