With just a little over six weeks remaining until Europe’s top jumpers head post-ward in the Grand National, this would be a great time to take a look at the event and perhaps a couple of key contenders. The Grand National signals the beginning of a shift in focus to England’s flat racing season that figures to bring out a lot of Europe’s racing champions from 2016.
About the Grand National
With inaugural of the nation’s most prestigious National Hunt horse race back in 1839, this event has indeed become a very important part of British culture, especially among horse racing enthusiasts. The race is run as an annual event, usually scheduled for sometime around the first week of April. The 2017 Grand National is scheduled for 8 April 2017 at over 4 miles 514 yards (6.907 km) on the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. This is a handicap event for a record purse of £1 million with 60% going to the connections of the winner. The horses will travel over 30 fences, carrying assigned weights based on handicap conditions.
History of the Race
The race was founded and introduced by William Lynn in 1839. While the Grand National was actually run three times prior to 1839, those races have been disregarded for historical purposes since they were run on different grounds. The horses brave enough to meet the starter will travel the aforementioned distance, two times around the Aimtree course over 16 predetermined hurdles. The distance of the race makes it the longest Hunt race in Great Britain. The Fastest winning time came from Mr. Frisk (1990) at an astounding 8 minutes 47.8 seconds. The race has one three-time winner, Red Run in 1974, 1974 and again in 1977). Last year’s winner was Rule the World, a fine 9-year old jumper that might be back this year to defend his title at the age of 10.
The 2017 Contenders
With an opportunity to get a free bet for the Grand National, horseplayers might appreciate a quick preview look at a three of race’s top contenders for this year’s race.
Vieux Lion Rouge – After claiming the Grand National trial at Haydock, this one is currently going in fine form. At 12-1, he currently sits towards the top of the odds board and looks set to give a good account of himself after finishing 7th in this event last year.
Blaklion – A relative newcomer to the jumper ranks, Blaklion has a fine record of 3 wins and 3 place finishes among his 10 starts over the fences. This lightly raced gelding looks poised to give a good account of him at 16-1 odds.
The Last Samuri – After finishing a fine second in this race last year, The Last Samuri’s connections gave him a little time off. After a solid third in a recent effort against Vieux Lion Rouge, this one looks to be rounding into form. At 16-1, he may represent the best racing odds coming into this event.
Along with being broadcast across national radio stations everywhere, The Grand National will be televise by ITV.