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.

Past winners
YearWinnerOdds
2019Tiger Roll4/1
2018Tiger Roll14/1
2017One For Arthur14/1
2016Rule The World33/1
2015Many Clouds25/1

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 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 and 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.

Age does matter

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.

OnlineGambling Pro Tip
Burrows Saint E/W
Burrows Saint E/W

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.

First time luck?

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.

OnlineGambling Pro Tip
Native River Outright
Native River Outright

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.

Activity is Key

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.

OnlineGambling Pro Tip
Potters Corner E/W
Potters Corner E/W

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.

Proven Stamina

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
OnlineGambling Pro Tip
Tiger Roll Outright
Tiger Roll Outright

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 2020 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.

Tiger Roll 11/2
Burrows Saint 11/1
Kimberlite Candy 14/1
Magic Of Light 14/1
Walk In The Mill 16/1
Any Second Now 20/1
Ballyoptic 20/1
Definitly Red 20/1
Le Breuil 20/1
Ramses de Teillee 20/1
Anibale Fly 25/1
Delta Work 25/1
One For Arthur 25/1
Potters Corner 25/1
Total Recall 25/1
Yala Enki 25/1
Alpha Des Obeaux 33/1
Beware the Bear 33/1
Bristol de Mai 33/1
Cadmium 33/1
Champagne Classic 33/1
Chris's Dream 33/1
Dingo Dollar 33/1
Elegant Escape 33/1
Give Me A Copper 33/1
Hogan's Height 33/1
Missed Approach 33/1
Ok Corral 33/1
Pleasant Company 33/1
Talkischeap 33/1
Traffic Fluide 33/1
Vintage Clouds 33/1
Acapella Bourgeois 40/1
Atlanta Ablaze 40/1
Borice 40/1
Chef des Obeaux 40/1
Fitzhenry 40/1
Kildisart 40/1
Lake View Lad 40/1
Lord Du Mesnil 40/1
Mall Dini 40/1
Takingrisks 40/1
The Storyteller 40/1
Top Ville Ben 40/1
Valtor 40/1
As de Mee 50/1
Cabaret Queen 50/1
Class Conti 50/1
Cogry 50/1
Dounikos 50/1
Dragon dEstruval 50/1
Fingerontheswitch 50/1
Jury Duty 50/1
Poker Party 50/1
Ravenhill 50/1
Regal Encore 50/1
Roaring Bull 50/1
Shattered Love 50/1
Snugsborough Benny 50/1
Sub Lieutenant 50/1
The Hollow Ginge 50/1
Vieux Lion Rouge 50/1
A Toi Phil 66/1
Acting Lass 66/1
Activial 66/1
Aso 66/1
Crievehill 66/1
Dalko Moriviere 66/1
Dallas des Pictons 66/1
Death Duty 66/1
General Principle 66/1
Heron Heights 66/1
Jett 66/1
Joe Farrell 66/1
Mister Whitaker 66/1
Monbeg Notorious 66/1
Moonshine Bay 66/1
Now McGinty 66/1
Peregrine Run 66/1
Prince of Scars 66/1
Romain de Senam 66/1
Saint Xavier 66/1
Spider Web 66/1
The Young Master 66/1
Tout Est Permis 66/1
Townshend 66/1
Voix du Reve 66/1
Warriors Tale 66/1
Flying Angel 80/1
Noble Endeavor 80/1
Out Sam 80/1
Ami Desbois 100/1
Disco dAuthie 100/1
Double Shuffle 100/1
Kilfilum Cross 100/1
Scoir Mear 100/1
Singlefarmpayment 100/1
Soupy Soups 100/1
Steely Addition 100/1
Outlander 150/1
Rathlin Rose 150/1
Princeton Royale 200/1

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).

Grand National Aintree Water Jump (16) 3ft 2in drop* The Chair (15) 5ft 2in Fence 14 & 30 4ft 7in Fence 13 & 29 4ft 7in Fence 12 & 28 5ft 6in drop* Fence 11 & 27 5ft 0in Fence 10 & 26 5ft 0in Valentine’s Brook (9 & 25) 5ft 0in The Canal Turn (8 & 24) 5ft 0in Foinavon Fence (7 & 23) 4ft 6in Becher’s Brook (6 & 22) 6ft 9in drop* Fence 5 & 21 5ft 0in Fence 4 & 20 4ft 10in Westhead (3 & 19) 4ft 10in Fence 2 & 18 3ft 6in Fence 1 & 17 4ft 6in

*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.

Grand National News