Racecourse Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Aintree

Aintree hosts the ultimate jump racing challenge where forty jockeys and their horses take on the popular 30 Grand National fences. The course is four and a half miles, where the winner takes home £1 million. If you are looking forward to a horse racing event this year, you don’t want to miss Aintree’s Grand National. What’s more, it’s just around the corner. Want to know more? Here’s your Aintree Racecourse guide: everything your need to know about Aintree.

Where it began

Aintree Racecourse has been home to the Grand National since 1839. Despite world war 1 between 1916 and 1918, the racing event was held but was moved to Gatwick racecourse. However, the Aintree racecourse didn’t host the Grand National between 1941 and 1945 because of world war 2. 

Where is the Aintree Racecourse?

Photo by TheOther Kev from Pexels

The Aintree Racecourse is located at the heart of Liverpool and will be hosting the 173rd Grand National horse racing event in April. 

What to expect at Aintree Racecourse 

A three-day-long event, with over 20 races, with Grand National, has its biggest highlights. Here, horses and their jockeys have to make it to the finish line through a four and half mile course consisting of 30 fences. 

There will be 16 different fences at the first lap and 14 in the second lap, making a total of 30 across the four-and-a-half mile-long course. Also, the fences have different widths, heights, and names. At the April 14th, 2018 edition of the Aintree’s Grand National,  jockeys and their horses jumped over the Canal turn fence. Other obstacle names include Becher’s Brook and the highest jump, known as The Chair. 

Fortunately for the horses, the highest obstacle only needs to be jumped once. This is unlike other fences where the Canal Turn and Becher’s Brook require horses to jump over them at least two times. 

As with all horse racing events, there will likely be punting at the bookies stand. However, with covid-19 safety protocol in place, more betting can be done online at Timeform, where you can get access to good odds and other bet offers. 

Famous winners at the Aintree

  • Red Rum, a three-time winner in 1973, 1974, and 1977. The agile horse died at 30 years old in 1995. 
  • Ambush 2, belonging to Prince Edward II, Ambush 2 came in first in the 1900 edition.
  • Mr. Frisk has the fastest time record to cover the Grand National course, and he conquered  514 yards long Race in just 8 minutes and 47 sec.
  • George Stevens is a jockey with the highest record for the highest number of wins in Grand National history.

Controversy

Animal rights activists and campaigners against animal cruelty have clamored for better animal welfare, saying the Grand National is lent safe for horses. 2011 and 2012, witnessed the death of 2 horses during the Grand National. 

The Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has since been in talks with the Grand National event organizers on a safe mode of operation for the animals.

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