The Randox Health Grand National

The Randox Health Grand National

The celebrated British sporting institution The Grand National at Aintree returns on the 12th of April 2018 for its 179th edition, promising a weekend of intense racing an immense spectacle.

This year at Tessuti, as official sponsors of the Randox Health Grand National, we decided to take a look at the race’s history, the people behind it and it’s many traditions and quirks.

The course:

Once known as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, the Aintree course was founded by William Lynn, a former proprietor of the Waterloo Hotel, Liverpool. Building a grandstand and foundation, the course was opened in 1836. Originally, upon it’s opening it could only accommodate a four-horse line up. The race’s capacity has since developed to 40 horses per race and the largest field ever displayed included over sixty horses.

In it’s infancy the course went strength to strength, with the demise of the Great St Albans Chase, back in 1838, allowing The Grand National to dominate the British and global racing calendar. Adding to this was the expansion of the railways which allowed spectators to travel from all corners of the UK to view the races.

The intricacies of the course have naturally developed since it’s initial conception. Back in the days of the first Grand National in 1839 the field had to complete only three jumps; A crude run in comparison to today’s gruelling sixteen jump course.

In the post-war period the course suffered financially and struggled to sustain itself, and was eventually sold to property developer Bill Davies who announced a commitment to maintain the sport of Horse Racing on the site. His lack of passion for the sport proved crippling however and yet again the decision was taken to allow the Grand National to be managed by an outside body. Following years of struggle a foundation was built to create the Grand National that is widely revered today.

Recent Winners:

The Grand National maintains extreme popularity for it’s anyone-could-win grittiness as a race. Here are a few of the recent winners.

2014: The revival of the £1 million jackpot saw part time trainer Dr Richard Newland win the race, courtesy of Pineau De Re and jockey Leighton Aspell.

2015: Many Clouds took first place in 2015, with Leighton Aspell once again steering a horse to victory for trainer Oliver Sherwood.

2016: The aptly named Rule The World was 2016’s winner ridden by David Mullins and trained by Mouse Morris.

2017: Last year’s champion was One for Arthur, trained by Lucinda Russell and guided by jockey Derek Fox.

This Year:

This year, as an official sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National, we’ll be at the Grand National for our take on the weekend, including live updates on Ladies Day and more. Keep an eye out.

 

 

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