The Grand National is back, the most anticipated race on the British calendar. The world’s best-known hurdle race features 40 runners braving the daunting obstacles of Aintree’s 30 Grand National hurdles over a course of four miles and two and a half furlongs.
Aintree’s three-day Grand National festival is estimated to be watched by over half a billion people in 140 countries each year, and the 2023 edition will be no different.
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s race.
When is the 2023 Grand National?
The Grand National is the most famous steeplechase in the world and the highlight of Aintree’s three-day Grand National Festival, which this year runs from Thursday 13 April to Saturday 15 April. The main event, the Grand National itself, is on Saturday afternoon. .
What time does the race start?
Runners will head to the stall at 5:15 p.m., the traditional tea time slot. The National itself is the sixth of seven races at Aintree that day. At just under four and a half miles, it’s easily the longest race of the entire three-day meet.
Where is the 2023 Grand National?
The meeting takes place at Aintree Racecourse, six miles from Liverpool. Aintree has hosted the race since the first edition, in 1839.
How can I watch the race? What TV channel is it on?
The Festival typically hosts over 150,000 racing fans. Live TV coverage is on ITV and Racing TV.
How does the handicap system work?
As a handicap race, the Grand National offers the opportunity for slightly less sophisticated horses to compete on a more even playing field. The handicap formula, as determined by the British Horseracing Authority, means that the lowest rated horses weigh a few pounds less than the highest rated contenders.
The essential minimum that a horse is allowed to carry is the tenth (including the rider). The horse with the top weight carries the 11th 10 oz, with all other handicap weights calculated from this top weight. In 2015, Many Clouds won with the 9oz 11th place, the heaviest handicap in recent history. Last year’s winner, Noble Yeats, took the 10 oz. The last horse to win top weight was Red Rum in 1973, when the top handicap was set at 12.
What is the weather forecast?
So far away, the weather is impossible to accurately predict. But given the mid-April race date, it’s a safe bet that the weather in the North West of England will be changeable. Last year, course officials chose to water the course the night before the race, after a brief dry spell. Amid scattered light showers, the race itself was run in good overhead conditions with a good to soft rating.
Are Grand National tickets available?
Tickets for some areas of Aintree on Saturday have already sold out but as of the second week of January there are still tickets available, ranging in price from £40 for a ‘Festival Zone’ child ticket (£80 for adults) at £178 on the roof of the Queen Mother. Hospitality tickets are also available, ranging in price from £405 to £1,095. Parking is charged at an additional £30. All tickets are available on the official website of the racecourse: www.thejockeyclub.co.uk
What horses are running in the 2022 Grand National?
The 40-rider lineup has yet to be confirmed. We will post the long list of potential runners, usually announced in mid-February, and the 40 official entries, plus our raffle kit, when these details are confirmed closer to the race.
How are horses chosen for the Grand National?
Only a certain number of horses meet the criteria to be able to compete in the Grand National. Among the qualifications must:
have an official score (OR) of 125 or higher
be 7 years old or older
have completed three or more obstacle courses
have completed an obstacle course in the current season
have finished 1st through 4th in a steeplechase over 2 miles and 7½ furlongs or more
What is the latest Grand National news?
The biggest news so far is the removal of the reserve system, which had been in place since 2000. Under this system, up to four horses could be added to the race starting list if runners left the original starting list. 40. participants before 1:00 p.m. on the Friday before the race.
However, according to Aintree officials, the public found this system confusing, and therefore for this year’s Grand National, if a rider withdraws, they will not be replaced. In 2022, three reserves (Commodore, School Boy Hours and Romain De Senam) made it to the starting line.
Sulekha Varma, Aintree’s Race Director, said: “The booking system was introduced with the aim of giving us the best possible chance of ensuring we have a maximum field of 40 riders.
“However, as the Randox Grand National is a worldwide phenomenon, there are associated demands for race day data provision that are greater now than when the system was introduced. The system had to operate by reserves taking the race card position of the relevant non-runner.
“This had the effect of the reserves, which by definition are the lowest rated horses in the race, appearing higher up the handicap on the race card despite carrying the least weight, causing production to drop. of race cards and the return of the results were extremely challenging. for various points of sale.
What are the ultimate odds of winning the Grand National?
Betting on a horse to win a race even before you know the horse will be in the race is obviously highly speculative. However, bookies are already taking bets, with most long-range bettors betting on last year’s winner, Noble Yeats, who went away in 2022 at 50-1. The current five favorites are:
Noble Yeats 8/1
Communal House Poet 14/1
Any second now 1/14
Corach Rambler 16/1
Odds are correct as of January 11 and are subject to change.
What are some of the famous fences on the course?
The Aintree fences are not as dangerous as they used to be. However, they remain the most notorious obstacles in the business.
Becher Stream: The sixth and 22nd hurdles of the race may not be the biggest, but their difficulty stems from the fact that the landing side is 10 inches lower than the takeoff side. Named after Captain Martin Becher, a jockey who fell at this stage in the first race of the race in 1839 and hid in the stream to avoid injury.
Valentine’s Creek: Named for a horse that allegedly jumped it backwards in 1840. The horse most likely turned in midair to create the optical illusion that its hind legs landed first.
The chair: The tallest fence on the field now measures five feet two inches.
Fontavon: One of the smaller fences is named after the 100/1 shooter who avoided a disastrous pileup here in 1967 and won.
Channel Turn: As the name suggests, horses must make a sharp left turn after jumping this five-foot hurdle. Another Aintree myth is that horses that refused to turn ended up in the Liverpool and Leeds canal.
This article has been updated with the latest information for the 2023 Grand National.