Incredible Odds for the Grand National Fever
Spring is our favorite season. Because of flowers and warmer days, sure, but mainly because of the Grand National. It is not only the worldís most famous horse race, but also the most valuable one, with a prize fund of ?1 million in 2016. The Grand National is watched by more than 600 million people in 140 countries. The race will be run at the Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool, on Saturday 8th April, England.
The Grand National is legendary because of its toughness. Despite the fact that the first five Grand Nationals included one jump that was a stone wall, the challenge has only slightly diminished over the years. Last year, the race was started by 39 runners and finished by only 16. The rest was vanquished by the formidable distance (more than 4 miles) and by fences that are much larger than on the other National Hunt tracks. In fact, some of them are celebrities in their own right, like Becherís Brook, The Chair and the Canal Turn. The first fence is the most notorious one: in 27 runnings, there were only two years when no horses fell. Fascinatingly, the record number of finishers is 23 from 40 starters in 1984.
Such hardships make for some exciting betting, too. Last year's winner, Rule the World, was at odds of 33-1. In 1928, only two horses managed to finish the race, with the winner being Tipperary Tim, at 100-1! The same odds would be repeated for Foinavon, the winner in 1967.
But don't worry about having to bet on one race only. The Grand National is a part of a festival which features 21 races, 11 of which are Grade 1 contests, taking place from Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th April. Even though they are overshadowed by the main event, some of these races are almost as legendary, such as the Top Novices' Hurdle and the Mildmay Novices' Steeple Chase on Ladies Day, or the six races on the Grand National Day. They include the Liverpool Stayers' Hurdle, which will be completely unpredictable, as the last year's winner will not participate.
The Grand National is not only an extremely hard race to run, but also extremely hard to predict. After all, forty top horses are expected to compete. To avoid getting lost in so much splendour, head over to our Grand National page, where you will find pedigrees, advice and betting tips for the six favourite horses. But that is just the icing on the equestrian cake. Our huge lists of horses, jockeys and trainers provide Racing Post spotlights with the latest news, tips and results. For events on this level, every single bit of information can prove to be decisive.
Betting on horse races such as Grand National is almost a duty. It's the closest you can get to actually riding the horses. And you are in the right place: William Hill has been covering the Grand National for decades, honing its offer to be able to provide top odds and excellent markets. You can bet right away. So what are you waiting for?