The Grand National is much more than just a horse race for so many people. Taking place at Aintree near Liverpool, its 40 runners are watched by more than 600 million people in 140 countries. The Grand National also has a betting turnover many times larger than the next in line for the biggest betting race in the UK, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. If you are wondering what it is about the Grand National that makes it so popular in the UK, check out the following facts…


All of the horses at the Grand National are allocated different weights and those with the weakest form carry the least weight on their backs and vice-versa. While the majority of horses that participate in the Grand National are very well cared for, some people tend to have their view of their races coloured by the fact that a number of horses each year fall or have to get put down. It must be said that Grand National horse’s lives are in much safer hands now as the grounds and fences that they jump over have become increasingly safer to jump over.

A High Quality Event

In 1838 and 1839 three events transformed the Grand National from a small race to national affair. These were the fact that the races clashed with another event until 1838, easier rail travel to Liverpool being developed and a committee being introduced to better organise the event. These factors led to the event being more highly publicised and attracted a larger field of top quality horses and riders.


It is estimated that a total of two0thirds of the population bet on the race and this contributes to the overall turnover for bookmakers to me more than £150 million.

Dramatic Turn Of Events

Part of the National’s appeal is in its history of dramatic upsets, with one of the most famous being the pileup that offered in 1967 when a rider less horse veered across the leaders at the 23rd fence and caused all the horse to crash into one another. Events such as this played a large part in the fabric of the race’s history and made it all the more interesting to watch.

Grand National Alternative

If you can’t get enough of the buzz that surrounds the Grand National and wouldn’t mind travelling a little further afield for horse racing, there is a European alternative that may be a great option to pay a visit to if you want to include visiting them on your next holiday. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes place in Paris and is one of Europe’s biggest horse racing events and thanks to its affiliation with the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, has one of the highest prizes in the world on offer (4 million Euros). If you arrive early you will be able to enjoy the champagne and live jazz music too! Just make sure you get hold of European Health Insurance Card here:


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