The Grand National is one of Britain’s most prestigious events. It takes pride of place alongside Wimbledon, the Ashes and the FA Cup final as one of the country’s sporting crown jewels.
Over 500m people from around the globe will tune into this year’s renewal and try to pick a winner from the 40-strong field of runners. It’s come a long way since the race was first won by Lottery in 1839.
Famous names including Red Rum, Amberleigh House, Papillon and Hedgehunter have claimed first place since. Red Rum won the race three times and remains the leading horse in National history. He was trained by Ginger McCain, who shares the leading trainer title with Fred Rimell and George Dockeray.
George Stevens is the leading jockey with five wins in 1856, 1863, 1864, 1869 and 1870. Meanwhile, James Octavious Marshall, Noel Le Mare and Trevor Hemmings have each won the race three times as an owner.
With £1m prize money now up for grabs for the 2018 race, the Aintree showpiece appears to be more popular than ever.
Ahead of this year’s highly-anticipated running, we’ve picked out 10 memorable moments from Grand Nationals of the past…
Historic Grand National moments
1.Foinavon is perhaps the most infamous winner in Grand National history. The 100/1 shot took his chance in 1967 after the rest of the field fell, were hampered or refused at the 23rd
2.The Grand National had eluded AP McCoy 15 times prior to his win on Don’t Push It in 2010. He landed the prize by 5l and went on to become the first jockey to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year as a result.
3.Red Rum remains one of the most famous race horses of all time. Ginger McCain’s star won the renewal in 1973, 1974 and 1977. He’s credited with reviving the fortunes of the race.
4.Known as the race that never was, the 1993 renewal was declared void after 30 of the 39 runners completed the course after a false start. Esha Ness completed the circuit in what was then the second-fastest time in history. But it didn’t count, and the bookies were forced to refund over £75m in voided bets.
5.Favourites rarely win the Grand National. But it’s still unusual for 100/1 shots to prevail around the 4m 3f course. Five have managed it at the three-figure price, with Mon Mome the last for debut jockey Liam Treadwell in 2009. He remains the only 100/1 winner in the last 50 years.
6.33/1 shot Neptunes Collognes became the first grey to win the race for 51 winners in 2012. Paul Nicholls’ charge edged home Sunnyhillboy by a nose to record the shortest winning distance in National history.
7.Devon Loch, owned by the Queen Mother, leapt a phantom fence close to home when five lengths clear in the 1956 Grand National. He landed on his stomach after the fall and failed to complete the circuit.
8.Aldaniti’s win in 1981 didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. Jockey Bob Champion had recovered from cancer to ride the winner, while the horse itself had returned from a career threatening injury. Their story was later turned into the film Champions, starring John Hurt.
9.Ginger McCain became the joint-leading trainer in National history when Amberleigh House prevailed in 2004. It came 37 years after his previous victory with Red Rum.
10.In 1997, the Grand National was held on a Monday after an IRA bomb scare evacuated the racecourse on the Saturday. Tony Dobbin rode 14/1 shot Lord Gyllene to success in the race’s only ever Monday running.
Find out here more information, advice and Grand national tips for 2018 !