History of the Grand National
Founded by William Lynn, the Grand National was first won in 1836 by The Duke. It was then three years on until the first official Grand National race and that was won by a male horse named Lottery.
There have been many memorable Grand National moments in its 184-year history, however most will point to the dominance of Red Rum. As the only horse to have ever won the race three times, which he did in 1973, 1974 and 1977, Red Rum will forever be part of National History.
|2017||One For Arthur||14/1|
|2016||Rule The World||33/1|
How to Bet on The Grand National
If you’re thinking of betting on the Grand National, you’ll be joined by hundreds of thousands of others around the world. With such an immense global audience, people who don’t usually gamble will choose a horse and have a small wager.
Successful bettors will research the runners’ form and the going of the course, as well as reading our top tips and trends (see below). You can bet with our top sportsbook on this page, but we’ve listed what every site should offer around the Grand National.
Best Odds Guaranteed
The odds show you how much real money you’ll win if your bet is successful . Odds will change at each bookmaker, and some won’t offer ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’, so always spend some time looking for the best odds possible.
Free Bets & Bonuses
Most bookmakers offer promotions on the Grand National, including enhanced odds and free bets. Use these to make the most of your betting experience.
Each Way Bets
If you’re planning on betting each way, check the number of places paid. Many bookmakers will pay the top five places at the National, however some aren’t so generous.
Take Expert Advice
There are always loads of different pundits and experts chatting about the race before it starts. Listen to what they say and then make an educated bet based on their opinions.
Grand National Tips & Predictions
Horses aged eight and under have a very bad record in the race. In fact, you have to go back to 1940 to find a winner aged eight or under. Horses aged 13 or over also don’t traditionally run well at the National.
Owned by the Riccis and trained by Willie Mullins, Burrows Saint had his first Irish Grand National win in 2019, followed by an impressive win at Punchestown by 3 1/4 lengths. Burrows Saint will only be 7 years old for the 2020 Grand National so trends suggest he’s too young, but we see him running well making this a good EW bet.
Horses racing in the National for the first time have won 10 of the last 12 races. Tiger Roll went against this trend in 2019 though, winning the race for the second time in a row.
One of the best horses of recent years winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup, a Hennessy Gold Cup and a Welsh National. We expect him to mount a serious challenge over the Aintree fences for the 2020 Grand National. An emphatic win by 33 lengths at Aintree on his seasonal return in December only confirms he's a serious contender to win in April. It's worth considering he’ll be near top weight but we're still expecting big things.
Horses that have already raced over hurdles in the season often perform well. Horses that have not raced for 50 or more days are often at a disadvantage though.
As an alternative which can offer a bit more value, we like the look of Potters Corner at EW. An active runner towards the end of 2019 winning the Welsh Grand National, he has an abundance of stamina and shouldn’t be heavily burdened with the weights. Potters Corner runs particularly well on soft ground, so some rain will bring out the best in him.
Despite recent reductions, the Grand National remains the longest race on the horse racing calendar (4m 2 1/f). However, there are several races which also require excellent stamina for success, and in the past 25 years, 80% of Grand National winners have performed well at the following races.
- Glenfarcas Cross Country Chase (3m 6f) March 11th
- Cheltenham Gold Cup (3m 2 1/2f) March 13th
- Irish National (3m 5f) - April 13th
- Scottish National (4m 1f) April 18th
- Ladbrokes Trophy (3m 2f) November 28th
- Becher Chase (3m 2f) December 5th
- Welsh National (3m 5 1/2f) December 27th
Already the favourite, it’s hard to look past Tiger Roll, despite concerns around the weight he’ll carry into the race. At a prime age, his experience running at distance will be crucial to securing an unprecedented third Grand National in a row. Six wins in total at Aintree and Cheltenham proves he has all the credentials, but don’t expect great value for such a heavy favourite.
Grand National Runners Odds
Currently, there are no horses registered for the Grand National. By the time the National arrives, the number of runners will be 40, with four horses held in reserve. Horses that currently have a chance of racing in the 2021 Grand National can be seen below. If you bet on a horse that doesn’t start the race, you will be refunded your money by the betting company.
Where is The Grand National?
Aintree is a racecourse approximately six miles north of Liverpool and has hosted every national in history. The location is a result of William Lynn, who leased the grounds from the 2nd Earl of Sefton.
In total, the racecourse has 16 fences most of which some of the tallest in jump racing. All but two (The Chair and The Water Jump) are jumped twice by the competitors. The length of the course is 4 miles and 2 ½ furlongs (4 miles 514 yards).
*Drop indicates the height of the fence on the opposite side from that seen by the horse and signifies that the drop is further than the initial jump.
- Fence 1 & 17 4ft 6in
- Fence 2 & 18 3ft 6in
- Westhead (3 & 19) 4ft 10in
- Fence 4 & 20 4ft 10in
- Fence 5 & 21 5ft 0in
- Becher’s Brook (6 & 22) 6ft 9in drop*
- Foinavon Fence (7 & 23) 4ft 6in
- The Canal Turn (8 & 24) 5ft 0in
- Valentine’s Brook (9 & 25) 5ft 0in
- Fence 10 & 26 5ft 0in
- Fence 11 & 27 5ft 0in
- Fence 12 & 28 5ft 6in drop*
- Fence 13 & 29 4ft 7in
- Fence 14 & 30 4ft 7in
- The Chair (15) 5ft 2in
- Water Jump (16) 3ft 2in drop*
Some of the fences jumped in the National have become famous, usually due to the challenge they pose to horse and rider. The three best-known fences are described below…
- The Chair
- As the tallest on the course, The chair is a notoriously difficult fence. It stands at 5ft 2in high with a 6ft wide ditch in front of it. With the fence being 3ft Wie, the horse and jacket have to jump a total of 9ft to clear this obstacle.
- Becher’s Brook
- Perhaps the most famous fence on the course, or even the world. Becher’s Brook is a 4ft 10in fence with a drop of 6ft 9in on the opposite side.
- The Canal Turn
- This fence is just before a 90° turn, hence the name. Races are won and lost here, with many riders attempting a tough diagonal jump in order to line themselves up nicely for the turn.