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The Randox Grand National: the World's Greatest Steeplechase

The Grand National is a historic British horse race held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool since 1839. Over a span of 4 miles and 855 yards, horses and riders navigate 30 jumps, displaying strength and stamina.

This event, held Saturday 13th Apr 2024 at 4:00 pm, signifies British sporting heritage and attracts worldwide attention. Over 13 million people place a bet, with many work sweepstakes.

The Aintree Festival will run from Thursday, April 11th 2024 to the Saturday’s final race. Besides racing, the Merseyside festival offers stylish fashion, gastronomy, and diverse experiences like Ladies Day. There's much to discover about this prestigious event's highlights and impact on horse racing history.

40 horses are set to line up at this year's Grand National and they are competing for a prize pot worth £1million across the first 10 finishers, with the winner getting £561,300.

The Grand National horse that triumphs must embody strength, stamina, and size, traits often found in cold blood and Thoroughbred breeds. And often a slice of luck, with on average over half the horses and riders failing to finish.

This thrilling horse racing event, steeped in history and prestige, captivates a global audience and remains an enduring symbol of British sporting heritage.

Grand National 2024 favourites

It’s early days of course, but everyone likes to pick the winner. Current favourites according to the bookies include Corach Rambler (2023 winner), I Am Maximus (2023 Irish Grand National winner), Vanillier, Panda Boy, and Mahler Mission.

Keep an eye out for the results of the Irish Grand National (Easter Monday 1st Apr) which will show which horses are preferred for that race, show good form and any injuries.

The Grand National Trophy

The Randox Grand National Trophy is one of the most iconic and prestigious sporting trophies in the world of horse racing. Randox starting sponsoring the horse race in 2017, and each year a unique trophy  is designed and produced. 

The winning owner receives the full size trophy, with the trainer, jockey and groom all receiving a miniature replica version.

You can view this years trophy, as well as trophies from previous Randox Grand Nationals, by visiting the trophy marquee next to the Red Rum Garden.

Inkerman are proud to have a long tradition making trophies for the Grand National, and were the official trophy supplier for the 17th year in 2023, and we love the bowl for the owner for the Abersoch Land and Sea Handicap Hurdle winner (below).

We made all of the trophies for the Grand National Meet at Aintree Racecourse from 2009 until the end of John Smith's sponsorship in 2013, such as the gorgeous Grand National Crystal & Sterling Silver Claret Jug.

We were also commissioned to make a stunning handmade commemorative black cased glass plate for AP McCoy's retirement. The 35cms diameter was etched with the 'Grand National' horses around the edge, commemorative text and a list of the 20 horses AP McCoy has ridden in the National. 

 

 

Historical Significance

As you revel in the pomp and grandeur of the event, it's worth taking a moment to appreciate the historical significance of the Grand National. Established in 1839 by William Lynn, a Liverpool innkeeper, the race has been a fixture in the British sporting calendar for nearly two centuries.

Officially renamed the Grand National in 1847, it's now a symbol of British horse racing heritage. A test of skill and spirit, it's not surprising that winners often possess a mix of cold blood and Thoroughbred ancestry.

Globally recognized, the Grand National attracts spectators from all corners of the world, showcasing the enduring appeal and prestige of this challenging race. So, remember, you're not just watching a race, you're witnessing history.

Notable Winners and Legends

Throughout the history of the Grand National, there have been numerous remarkable winners and legendary moments that have etched their place in the annals of the event.

You've probably heard of Red Rum, the most successful Grand National winner, who triumphed three times in the 1970s.

In more recent years, Tiger Roll is one of the most popular Grand National, trained by Gordon Elliott. He won a remarkable five races at the Cheltenham Festival as well as landing the Aintree Grand National in 2018 and 2019 before the cancellation of all sports due to the Coronavirus pandemic ruined the chance of three in a row to match Red Rums tally.

Golden Miller is the only horse to have ever won both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Aintree Grand National in the same season, back in 1934. Golden Miller actually won the Gold Cup at Cheltenham for five years straight, but only managed to win the Grand National once.

The fastest winner was Mr Frisk in 1990, setting a record for the course of  8min 47.8sec.

Of course, everyone loves an long odds underhorse, especially  when they’ve had a flutter. The longest odds winner is 100/1 and there have been 5. This incudes Foinavon's unexpected victory in 1967, who has a fence name after him. And Mon Mome in 2009. The first was Tipperary Tim's shocking victory in 1928, which remains one of the event's biggest upsets.

Bob Champion's win in 1981 while riding Aldaniti is an inspiring tale of beating the odds amidst personal adversity. We are proud supporters of Bob Champion Cancer Trust, and even have made heavy based Tumblers etched with the Inkerman Grand National horseracing scene where all profits go to such a great charity.

And don't forget Seagram, the horse that won the last Seagram-sponsored Grand National in 1991, creating a unique historical moment.

These equestrian legends have certainly added to the prestige of the Grand National as they galloped to victory.

Conclusion

In the end, the Grand National isn't just a horse race; it's a British institution. With its rich history, legendary winners, and thrilling action, it captivates the nation every April. Every year millions cheer on the runners on all the jumps and fences, with the excitement the equestrian sport brings.

Whether you're a seasoned punter or a casual spectator, its lure is undeniable. So, immerse yourself in the spectacle, appreciate the skill of the jockeys, and remember, it's not just about the prize money, but the glory of winning the world's most famous steeplechase.

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