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Grand National 2021 Review

We could all sense that the 2021 Grand National would see some glorious, record-breaking moments, and the iconic race meeting certainly didn’t disappoint. Across each race day, the top-quality action at Aintree racecourse provided the nation with some thrilling highlights.

The magic assuredly reached its peak on Grand National Day, which saw the incredible Rachael Blackmore smash records yet again, becoming the first female jockey to win the world’s greatest steeplechase.

Take a look as we revisit the highlights from each day of the exhilarating festival in our Grand National 2021 review.

Liverpool’s NHS Day Highlights

The 2021 Grand National kicked off with Liverpool’s NHS Day, renamed to honour the work of the NHS staff across the region. Despite the festival continuing behind closed doors, the action on the racecourse made up for the lack of crowds.

The opening day began with The SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase, which saw Protektorat take the crown, providing a win for the Skeltons and owner, Sir Alex Ferguson. Trainer Dan Skelton admitted his surprise at the victory, believing the run to be a ‘short-term plan to get a long-term result next year.’ Jockey Harry Skelton, however, hailed the six-year-old as having a hell of a lot of ability despite not being the easiest to work with.

The second race of the day was The Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle which provided yet another impressive win for Sir Alex with Monimal, who jockey Harry Cobden declared the best English Juvenile he’s ever experienced. Trainer Paul Nicholls noted how the four-year-old has moved from strength to strength and suggested that the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle could be a possibility for the summer.

Opening day advanced with The Betway Bowl Steeple Chase, which saw a disappointing run for Tiger Roll, many of whom were disheartened that he was not given a chance to run the National to see if he could secure a third consecutive victory. The race marked a treble win for Sir Alex as Clan Des Obeaux took the crown, with Tiger Roll managing fourth place. Delighted at the third win, Sir Alex joked, “I think that’s my first hat-trick in Liverpool – I don’t think they’ll be too pleased.”

Next, The Rose Paterson Randox Health Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase provided an unexpected win from Cousin Pascal, delighting owner Joe O’Shea. The 9-year-old delivered a follow-up win for jockey James King who also won the race back in 2017 with Dineur and claimed that the success was even greater the second time around.

The penultimate race of the day was The Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase, where Editeur Du Gite claimed victory, having also experienced success at Newbury last month. Jockey Joshua Moore noted that the seven-year-old gave a great spin and loves a flat track.

Liverpool’s NHS Day concluded with The Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat, providing Rachael Blackmore with her first taste of success at the 2021 Grand National meeting with Me Too Please, unaware of the greatness that was yet to come.

Ladies Day Highlights

Day two of the Grand National would usually involve racegoers showcasing their showstopping outfits at Aintree racecourse. This year, however, saw a virtual style awards take place using the hashtag #AGrandDayIn, where winners donated their prize money to charities. Alongside the fashion fun, Ladies Day also contained a full day of enthralling racing moments.

Ladies Day commenced with The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, with Tronador claiming first place alongside jockey Jack Kennedy. Trainer Denise Foster noted that ‘he ran a cracker in the Boodles two years ago, and he wasn’t beaten overly far. He was fresh and well before this and travelled over really well.’ As a result, Foster is hopeful that the five-year-old will experience further success this season. 

The second race of the day was The Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle which saw Belfast Banter recreate his Cheltenham success. Trainer Peter Fahey noted that whilst the Cheltenham success was excellent, the Grade One win at Aintree was next level. 

Another runner who managed to replicate their Cheltenham triumph was Chantry House in The Betway Mildmay Novices’ Steeple Chase. Trainer Nicky Henderson hopes the 7-year-old has not used up all his luck during the two races, believing that he has a long and bright future ahead.

Next was a magnificent victory for Fakir D’oudairies in The Marsh Steeple Chase as he stormed ahead of Nuts Well and Itchy Feet to claim a dominant win. Jockey Mark Walsh expressed that the six-year-old deserved to have his ‘day in the sun’ after a string of second-place finishes.  

The following race marked another comfortable win as Livelovelaugh secured first place in The Randox Health Topham Steeple Chase. The Willie Mullins trained 11-year-old was well clear of Pink Eyed Pedro and Senior Citizen and provided a solid win for son and jockey, Patrick. ‘Every jockey wants to win over the fences here, and I got some spin there’, noted the younger Mullins.

The Ladies Day penultimate race was The Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle which saw a shock win from Ahoy Senor, beating Bravesmansgame and Oscar Elite. Following the surprise victory, trainer Lucinda Russell now has her eyes on Punchestown later this month, considering the Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle. 

Day two of the Grand National concluded with The Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle, where Rowland Ward claimed his first win of the season. Trainer Stuart Edmunds claimed that whilst he may not have had the rub of the green this season, he’s got ‘a bit of class’. 

Grand National Day Highlights

Following two enthralling days of racing action, the festival reached its climactic conclusion on Grand National Day and is a day that will go down in racing history.

The final day began with drama at The EFT Systems Handicap Hurdle, which saw a blunder from winner Hometown Boy during the final flight. Whilst the scare gave away a few lengths, the six-year-old still managed to secure the victory. Trainer Stuart Edmunds declared that he will not run again this season and will be a nice novice chaser for next year. 

Next was an impressive win for the Dan Skelton trained My Drogo in The Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle. The success marks a fourth consecutive win for the six-year-old, as missing Cheltenham last month proved to be a wise move. The race also saw a fall from Lucky One, ridden by Harry Cobden, who will not ride for the remainder of the season, having suffered a cheekbone fracture.

The Nicky Henderson trained Shishkin maintained his unbeaten record over fences in The Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Steeple Chase. Henderson confirmed that the seven-year-old would not run in Punchestown, though he is tipped for The Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022.

Proceeding to The Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle, we witnessed a thrilling finish from Thyme Hill. The seven-year-old missed out on Cheltenham last month, paving the way for a solid Stayer’s Hurdle win, delighting jockey Tom O’Brien. Having not ridden Thyme Hill to victory since Worcester back in 2018, the pair’s success was a significant moment. Sadly, it was a disappointing performance from Paisley Park, who was pulled up before the third-last flight.

Edging closer to the grand spectacle, The Betway Handicap Steeple Chase saw Happygolucky claim victory as trainer Kim Bailey noted the strong season he has had so far and that he is ‘unlucky not to be unbeaten.’

After great anticipation, the moment we had all been waiting for arrived. With an 11-1 chance, Minella Times secured the sensational win in The Randox Grand National Steeple Chase alongside the unstoppable Rachael Blackmore. The race went down in history as Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the National, a feat she also secured in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham with Honeysuckle. Additionally, Blackmore also went on to be crowned Top Jockey at Cheltenham, another title not previously won by a female.

Growing up in County Tipperary, Blackmore began riding from a young age and gained a degree in Equine Science from the University of Limerick. Blackmore first experienced success as an amateur jockey back in 2011, winning the Tipperary Ladies’ Handicap Hurdle at Thurles with Stowaway Pearl. She eventually turned professional in 2015, and her jockey career continued to move from strength to strength.

Her first run at the Grand National was in 2018 with Alpha des Obeaux, though unfortunately fell at the fifteenth fence. The following year, she experienced her first Cheltenham win with A Plus Tard in the Chase Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. 

2021 has been an inspiring year for Blackmore, with many stating her efforts have made her worthy of a damehood. Racing fans are undoubtedly excited to see what other achievements could be around the corner this year.

Whilst difficult to follow such a fantastic spectacle, The Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race saw another outstanding female victory as jockey Megan Nicholls secured the most significant win of her career on Knappers Hill, a proud moment for her trainer father, Paul Nicholls.

With an abundance of unforgettable moments, the 2021 Grand National certainly made up for the meeting not taking place last year. We are incredibly excited for the Grand National 2022 and for spectators to safely return to Aintree Racecourse. If you want to get in on the action for the Grand National 2022, please head on over to our Grand National hospitality page for our range of fantastic packages, including the fabulous Silks Restaurant. Next years’ iconic racing extravaganza is one not to be missed!

 

Grand National 2021 Preview

Tomorrow will see race lovers rejoice as The Grand National 2021 commences for three days of intense racing action. The world’s greatest steeplechase was cancelled last year as the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the nation. Being held behind closed doors in 2021, millions will tune in for this years’ extravaganza to witness the racing drama unfold at Aintree Racecourse.

Whilst Saturday hosts the showstopper race, the event begins with Liverpool’s NHS Day, renamed last year to honour the NHS staff across the region, followed by the iconic Ladies Day and finally reaching fever pitch on Grand National Day.

Undoubtedly, last year’s greatest disappointment was not seeing if Tiger Roll could take the crown for the third year running, a feat only managed previously by Red Rum. Whilst Tiger Roll will run at Aintree this year; he will not take part in the main spectacle and will instead run the Grade One Betway Bowl on the opening day.

With last years’ Grand National not taking place, racing fans are more eager than ever to see who will come out on top in 2021. Take a look as we cover which Grand National runners to watch during this years’ event.

Minella Times

It has been confirmed that the recently unstoppable Rachael Blackmore will ride Minella Times in the Randox Grand National Steeple Chase. Despite being more accustomed to shorter distances, the 8-year-old has managed to claim a reputable second place in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last December. Jockey Rachael Blackmore smashed records at the Cheltenham Festival, becoming the first female to win Top Jockey as well as the first female winner in the Champion Hurdle. Can she make history once again and recreate the magic at Aintree?

Bristol De Mai

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has revealed that he is cautiously optimistic regarding Bristol De Mai’s chances at the Grand National 2021. The grey managed to claim three consecutive victories at Haydock’s Betfair Chase, providing hope for further success. “I was going to run him in last year’s National,” said Twiston-Davies “while that never happened, he’s been trained specifically for the race this time.” Jockey Daryl Jacob stated that Bristol De Mai is on top form ahead of the race and is hopeful that the 10-year-old will play to his strengths.

The Storyteller

Trained by Denise Foster, having taken over from Gordon Elliott, The Storyteller looks to be a strong contender with a consistent performance history behind him. He has won a total of 11 races, including the Cheltenham Festival, racking up over 400 euros in prize money so far and has been hailed as an ‘underrated class act.’

Burrows Saint

2019 saw the Willie Mullins trained Burrows Saint claim his first win at the Irish Grand National. Although he took a break last season, it’s hoped that he will put up a strong performance for this year’s Grand National, having secured a respectable second place in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February. Could Burrows Saint replicate the glory of Hedgehunter’s victory in 2005 and provide a follow-up Grand National win for Mullins?

Yala Enki

Yala Enki could provide another potential female win for the Grand National title with jockey Bryony Frost. Frost is also no stranger to beating records, becoming the first female jockey to take the win at the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase with Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon at Kempton Park last December. The win followed Yala Enki’s fall at the William Hill Becher Chase, though the 11-year-old has a history of solid performances with soft or heavy going and the conditions at Aintree currently are described as good to soft. Despite being hopeful of the performance, Frost stated, “I’ve just got to get him out there galloping, and at the end of the day, a race like that is all about luck.”

Whilst there are some clearly strong contenders in the running for Saturday, we can’t wait to see the outcome across all three days of the Grand National and what iconic moments will unfold.

Want to experience the thrill of the Grand National first-hand? Treat yourself to one of our superb hospitality packages in the luxurious Silks Restaurant for the Grand National 2022 and indulge in one of the world’s most famous events in the horse racing calendar!

 

Hotels Near Aintree Racecourse: Grand National

Thinking of heading to the next Grand National? Plan ahead for your Grand National experience with our list of top hotels near Aintree Racecourse. The world’s most famous steeplechase will once again grace the famous course for an unrivalled three days of world class horse racing. Aintree is a village located in the popular city of Liverpool, UK.

As you prepare for the next Grand National, why not take a look at our top five suggested hotels near Aintree Racecourse below and plan your trip. There’s plenty to see and do in Liverpool. So whether you are travelling to Liverpool for the night or are going to make a weekend of it, our recommended hotels are the places to stay.

1. The Liner At Liverpool

Looking for a unique hotel stay in Liverpool? The Liner at Liverpool offers guests a nautical experience with their cruise ship inspired décor. The cabin style rooms make the perfect location to rest up after exploring all of the city’s great sites. Travelling to Aintree Racecourse for the Grand National couldn’t be easier. The central location of the hotel means you can reach Aintree Racecourse in around half an hour, whether you choose public transport or a taxi. This hotel is great for those that want to make the most out of their trip to Liverpool.

 

2. Jury’s Inn Liverpool

Enjoy a modern and bright stay at Jury’s Inn Liverpool. Located next the city’s most prestigious Albert Dock, this is the perfect for those that have not visited Liverpool before. You can visit all the hotspots in the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city. Located approximately 7 miles away from Aintree Racecourse makes getting to and from the racecourse very easy. Be sure to book in early to avoid disappointment.

 

3. Hilton Liverpool

For those wanting to add a little luxury to their stay, the Hilton is the ideal setting. Take your Grand National experience to the next level and feel like a VIP as you enjoy the four star centrally located accommodation. The city centre location means you can explore Liverpool too either before or after race day. The stylish rooms create an ideal ambience to relax after a busy day at the races. Again this hotel is located only 7 miles away from Aintree racecourse, an ideal place to stay to enjoy both the racing and explore the city.

 

4. Travelodge Liverpool Central

Looking for more affordable accommodation in Liverpool? Don’t worry we’ve got that covered too. The Travelodge Liverpool Central is in a perfect location for exploring the city’s rich culture. Only half a mile from Liverpool Lime Street the hotel makes travelling that much easier. The budget accommodation option offers functional and comfortable living. Around 5 miles away from Aintree Racecourse this is one of the closest hotels we have found.

 

5. Mercure Liverpool Atlantic Tower

Overlooking the city’s infamous Albert Dock Mercure Liverpool Atlantic Tower is an ideal setting for those wanting to dive in a little deeper to the city’s long history and culture. A 10 minute walks away from Albert Dock makes exploring that much easier. This is the perfect place for those opting for a longer stay in Liverpool with plenty planned. The 7 mile trip to Aintree Racecourse is definitely worth it. The hotels offer a comfortable stay with some even having views of the Mersey.

Wherever you stay we are certain you will have a thoroughly enjoyable stay during your time in Liverpool to revel in the Grand National experience.

If you haven’t yet planned your trip for the Grand National,  be sure to get your VIP tickets and hospitality secured whilst you look for the perfect place to stay.

Grand National History: Top 25 Interesting Facts

The world’s most popular sporting event, the Grand National, has so many hidden facts and historical treasures.

The next Grand National is set to be another exciting sporting event and we can’t stop talking about it. Let’s test your Grand National knowledge.

We have put together 25 of our favourite facts about the great race:

First Race

1839 was the first year to hold a Grand National race. The winning horse was named “Lottery” who won with odds at 5-1.

Red Rum

Red Rum is the most famous horse to date with an unbeatable 3 victories and a further two second place finishes. The treasured horse died in 1995 and was buried at the winning post at Aintree Racecourse.

Foinavon

In 1967 Foinavon won at odds 100-1, making this victory one of the most unforgettable of all time.

Longest Time

The winning time for the first Grand National race was a lengthy 14 minutes and 23 seconds.

Bob Champion

A victory that stole many hearts was that of Bob Champion. After recovering from Cancer and despite all the odds he went on to win a race. A movie was then made to capture the inspiring story.

Knock Out

1855 saw a very unlikely turn of events. Sam Darling fell off his horse and was knocked out. The horse coming up behind knocked the jockey in the head which in fact revived him.

Young and Old

The youngest jockey to win the race was Bruce Hobbs who won in 1938 at the age of 17. This was later followed by the oldest jockey Dick Saunders who won at the age of 47 in 1982.

Lucky Dutton

Amateur William Dutton won the race in 1929. His friend had told him he would only win if the other horses fell down, which they did! Only one other horse managed to finish the race alongside Dutton.

The Fences

There are a total of 16 fences on the national course, which are topped with spruce from the Lake District.

Horse Lingo

The unusual names of the horses are often a combination of their Dam and Sire’s name.

Fastest Time

1990 still holds the record for the fastest winning time. Mr Frisk finished the course in an impressive 8 minutes and 47.8 seconds.

Bets On

An estimated £300 million was spent on gambling and bets for the 2017 Grand National.

Aintree Residents

Those that live on the roads closest to Aintree racecourse can get free tickets to the event.

Day Drinking

An average of 250,000 pints are sold during the three day Grand National festival.

Aintree History

Aintree Racecourse gets its name from a Viking settlement, where all the trees but one fell down.

Hungry?

A huge 3500 lamb rumps are consumed from spectators during the festival.

Making History

The 170th Grand National race took place in 2017.

Girl Power

1983 saw the first female trainer Jenny Pitman win the Grand National.

Female Success

Katie Walsh is the most famous female jockey with a third place finish in 2012.

TV Viewers

Over 600 million people tune in from all over the world to watch the Grand National on TV.

Too Many Horses

A mammoth 66 horses started the race in 1929 which caused a multitude of issues for both horse and jockey. This lead to the starting number being capped at 40.

Grand National Legend

Sir Tony McCoy is regarded as horse racing legendary. With 20 races under his belt he is the most experience Grand National rider.

Statistics

An average of 60% entrants do not finish the race.

Prize Money

The prize money up for grabs is an impressive £1 million.

But first… Tea

For the typical April weather, a mammoth 75000 cups of tea and coffee are consumed at the event.


How many of those did you know? It is so interesting to see all the history and fun facts that surround the Grand National. It is no surprise as to why this sporting event is as popular as it is.

The next Grand National will no doubt make its own history. Make unforgettable memories at this great sporting event with Eventmasters.

Don’t miss out and experience the Grand National the VIP way with our impressive Grand National hospitality packages & tickets.

How To Get Grand National Tickets

Get Grand National 2022 VIP tickets and luxury hospitality with Eventmasters.

The Randox Health Grand National will once again descend on the prestigious Aintree Racecourse in 2022. The demand is always high with many Grand National ticket options selling out well in advance. Thousands of people flock to Aintree Racecourse each year for a first-hand look at all the racing action. The thrills, nail-biting action and all the drama make for an unforgettable experience.

Have you secured your Grand National Tickets yet? No? Don’t worry, we have you covered! The Grand National festival is spread out over three days. All of which have their own unique offering.

Let us help you decide which day is best for you.

Opening Day

Welcomes guests to Aintree racecourse and sets the tone for the three days to come. Both active racegoers and newbies to the sport find the first day enjoyable with tickets being pretty hard to get.

The day hosts a total of four Grade One races which are certain to be full of action. Highlights include both The Betway Bowl Steeplechase and The Randox Health Foxhunter’s Steeplechase. Our VIP tickets & hospitality packages include access to Silks Restaurant and The Corbiere Suite.

Ladies Day

The most stylish of the three days with fashion being a huge focal point. Individual style, glam and glitz are all encouraged. Style Scouts are on the lookout throughout the day to crown “best dressed”. Alongside the stunning fashion offering, there’s plenty of impeccable racing action to be enjoyed too.

Race highlights include The JLT Melling Steeplechase and the Randox Health Topham Steeplechase. Get glammed up and feel like a VIP with our luxurious ticket and hospitality packages in the Silks Restaurant and The Corbiere Suite.

Grand National Day

Arguably the most exciting day attracting millions worldwide. The staple piece of the whole event is The Randox Health Grand National race. The buzz is both electric and magical. History is made and many witness both astonishing wins and devastating losses.

Experiencing Grand National Day first hand should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list.

An unforgettable experience awaits. Tickets for Grand National Day are extremely popular, so act quickly to get yours for the final day. Our luxurious hospitality & VIP tickets include access to: the Silks Restaurant, The Corbiere Suite and Tiger Roll Suite.


Have you decided what day sounds most exciting? Eventmasters take Grand National experiences to a whole new level. We believe in creating VIP, unforgettable memories for life for both you and your guests.

Experience a Grand National experience like no other with our luxurious hospitality packages.

Upgrade your Grand National tickets and instead opt for something a little more magical. We have unmissable packages available for all three days in the following venues:

Silks Restaurant:

Exclusive to Eventmasters the Silks Restaurant provides a luxury environment worth remembering. Sharing its name with the great Silks at Cheltenham, there’s plenty to look forward to. With panoramic views of the starting line, you will miss none of the exhilarating action.

The Corbiere Suite:

Located on the third floor of the Lord Sefton Stand, The Corbiere Suite has unmissable views. You and your guests will feel like a VIP as you watch all the action unfold from the extravagant balcony. Both private tables and shared tables are available for all three days.

Tiger Roll Suite:

Named after Grand National legend, Tiger Roll, this venue offers great value. The suite is located adjacent to the Parade Ring and alongside the Red Rum statue.

Overlooking the finish line, see all the racing action from the raised terrace. This is an exclusive package that is only available on Grand National Day.

Get your Grand National VIP tickets and packages now with Eventmasters and experience a race day like no other.