THE GRAND NATIONAL 2019
The Grand National 2019 will start on Thursday, April 4th and conclude on Saturday, April 6th. As always, the Grand National festival will take place at the famous Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool. This year’s event will be the 172nd edition of the Grand National. Horse racing enthusiasts from all over Great Britain and Ireland will descend on Aintree for the three-day festival.
There will be 21 horse races held across the three days with the Grand National being the main event of the weekend. The Grand National race, known as the Randox Health 2019 Grand National due to sponsorship, will be the penultimate race held on the final day of the festival. The event will start at 5:15 p.m. with £1 million in prize money up for grabs.
The Grand National is the leading steeplechase on the British and Irish horse racing calendar. It is a date ringed in red every year and it draws hundreds of thousands of spectators to Aintree. The event has been attracting horse racing fans and competitors to Aintree for well over a century. It can trace its roots back to 1839 when a form of the Grand National was first run at racecourse.
The original incarnation of the race was known as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase and it was won by Lottery. While horses jump fences and hedges today, the initial race challenged horses to jump a stone wall, run over ploughed land, and leap over two hurdles to reach the finish line.
Aintree Racecourse was built in 1829 and has since undergone extensive refurbishment to keep the race at its original home. The Grand National festival was moved on one occasion, however. During World War I, the Grand National was held at Gatwick Racecourse. During the second World War, it was cancelled entirely and the future of the race was put in doubt due to the war.
Since the 1980s, the Grand National has taken on a new life. Thanks to investment, the racecourse, and the event itself, the Grand National has remained the top event of the jumps season.
Famed horse Red Rum holds the record for the most Grand National wins. The Irish thoroughbred won the race three times in the 1970s. Red Rum’s three victories in 1973, 1974, and 1977 were remarkable due to the race’s difficulty. Amazingly, in 1975 and 1976, Red Rum finished second in both years.
The Grand National is the United Kingdom’s longest race at 4 miles and 2.5 furlongs. It is incredibly taxing on horses as well due to the jumps competitors must leap over. Horses must complete 30 jumps during the gruelling race.
Since the first Grand National, the race’s competitors have got faster. The race’s first ever winner Lottery came in a 14:53. In 1990, the event’s fastest horse, Mr. Frisk, finished the Grand National in just under 8:48.
In 2009, Mon Mome made history by winning the Grand National after starting the race as a 100/1 longshot. It was the first time in 42 years that a horse of such long odds won the race.
Tiger Roll won the Grand National in 2018 at a starting price of 10/1. The Irish thoroughbred was ridden by Davy Russell for Irish horse trainer Gordon Elliott. Tiger Roll will return in 2019 for a shot at winning back to back Grand National races.
The horse has been brilliant in 2019 winning at Navan and the Cheltenham Festival. Tiger Roll scampered to victory at Cheltenham’s Glenfarclas Chase in mid-March for the second straight year. It will serve as the horse’s warm-up for the much longer Grand National. Since winning the Glenfarclas Chase, sports bookies have reacted by cutting Tiger Roll’s price for the Grand National.
The Randox Health 2019 Grand National race will hand out £1m in prize money. It is one of the richest Grand National races in the world today. Although it isn’t as much as prize money as some events such as the Dubai World Cup or the Pegasus World Cup, it delivers one of the largest sums of money in British and Irish racing.
Due to the amount of money on offer, a large field of horses, trainers, and jockeys are attracted to the Grand National. The £1m prize money purse means that horses one through 10 are rewarded with winnings. Forty horses will compete in the race with 25% of competitors receiving prize money. First place takes home a cool £560,000. The money trickles all the way down to 10th, where £1,000 is handed out.
Grand National winner can earn even more money in post-race appearances. Winning the race is a major coup, but it is just the beginning for trainers and owners.
Tiger Roll goes to Aintree as the bookies’ favourite. The horse is on a roll (no pun intended) following his win at the Cheltenham Festival. Only four horses in the Grand National’s history have retained their crown. The odds may be against Tiger Roll, but the thoroughbred is running well and has a legitimate shot at winning the race.
Elegant Escape is also considered a favourite at this year’s event. The winner of the Welsh National is trained by Colin Tizzard. Unfortunately, seven-year-old horses don’t perform well traditionally in the race.
Trainer Willie Mullins is aiming for his second Grand National win. His horses, Rathvinden, is considered one of the favourites. The 11-year-old is an experienced staying horse. Mullins may have history on his side as three 11-year-olds have won the Grand National since 2012.
Top 5 Horses and Odds (as of March 14th)
Where to watch the Grand National
There are multiple ways to watch the Grand National. One way is to open an account with an online sportsbook, login, and watch the live stream through the bookie’s website. A number of top British sportsbooks offer live streams of the Grand National festival.
UK free-to-air television channel ITV will show the Grand National live. Viewers can also stream the event on the ITV website or mobile ITV player app. In addition, UK channel RACING UK will stream the event.
Where to buy tickets
The Grand National 2019 official website allows horse racing fans to purchase tickets. There are multiple tickets on offer for the three-day event. Tickets range in price from £30 to £120. Tickets are selling fast with many of the seating areas already sold out. Grand National tickets can be found here: https://www.grandnational.org.uk/tickets.php.
Disclaimer: All images are copyright to their respective owners and are used by TGB for informational purposes only.