With a tradition that stretches back for more than 170 years and an impressive prize pool of over one million pounds, Grand National is truly a horserace like no other.
In every sport, there are seasonal events that draw the peak interest from fans around the world. In horse racing, that status belongs to a handful of annual meetings and the most significant among them is the Grand National, a two-lap handicap steeplechase contest with 30 fences that brings together some of the best horses, as well as jockeys, in all of Britain. It is held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, a scenic location that hosted the event since it started in 1839 and still retains a special charm that adds a dash of old-time style to an exciting and well-organized sports event. In addition to its relevance as a top race on the calendar, Grand National is associated with a rich and colorful lore that includes many legendary horses, owners and riders.
This race is deeply ingrained in the British culture and represents an important element of the national identity while being the most impactful and best-paying event in the National Hunt. Total value of prizes has reached a million pounds in recent years, dwarfing any other horse racing events in Europe by a considerable margin. It has been televised since the early 1960’s and has reached viewership numbers of more than 500 million over the past couple of years, putting in on par with the top soccer or tennis matches. It goes without saying that watching it live is even more exciting, although finding an affordable ticket might not be the easiest task to do. Those lucky enough to secure a good seat are likely to spend a perfect day that represents far more than a simple visit to a racetrack.
In terms of equestrian skill, Grand National is regarded as a very demanding race that only the most outstanding jockeys can navigate with success. More than 40 horses participate in the race, but typically only about ten manage to finish it, thanks in large part to numerous fences that are higher than standard and knock off many competitors along the way. Because of this, it is very difficult to predict the winner at this race and surprises are not uncommon, while the spectators are treated to a high-adrenaline finish more often than not. Repeat winners are rare, while the record for most wins by a single horse was set all the way back in the 1970’s with just 3 first-place finishes by Red Rum. With so much as stake, every contestant is certain to give the best effort and leave it all on the track, creating a very intense atmosphere that can be felt by the audience.
Of course, this doesn’t stop people from trying to guess the champion in advance and bookmakers are handling plenty of action in the days leading up to the Grand National. Betting and horse racing simply go hand in hand in Britain, and numerous fans enjoy this activity as an appetizer for the amazing display of power, speed and tactic that ensues. The value of all bets placed at the racetrack and online outlets greatly exceeds the prize pool, illustrating just how much this event is popular with the sports betting crowd, both domestically and internationally. Some bets are symbolic and serve only to make things more interesting, but high-rollers are known to spend big money on horses on this day.
You can easily find out the odds for Grand National Day 2017 at William Hill and other top online bookmakers and decide whether to take part in the proceedings by picking your favorites. There is a broad spectrum of bets you can make, so everyone is able to find the right combination of risk and opportunity. In fact, Grand National represents a good opportunity to get more familiar with the world of horse racing and start following the sports more closely, and betting can be a good way to learn how this circuit operates. Many diehard fans started out by following the top events, so maybe your interest translates into long-term admiration for the sport as well.