2012 Grand National

5 Facts about Grand National

The 2024 renewal of the Aintree Grand National gets underway in barely more than two weeks’ time, and here we will take a look at some fascinating facts about this prestigious event.

There is most certainly plenty to look forward to for any horse racing fans across the United Kingdom and across the country, with the 2024 renewal of the Cheltenham Festival now firmly in the past, the next event that will get the pulses of racegoers racing is set to be the 2024 Grand National at Aintree Racecourse.

This year’s Grand National gets underway over the course of three days, from Thursday, 11th, April to Saturday, 13th April 2024. No less than 21 races, 7 per day, will be taking place at this famous, iconic and illustrious event this year. The Grand National Steeplechase takes place on the final day of proceedings, which, this year, will be the Saturday (13th April).

The Randox Grand National Steeple Chase is arguably the most prestigious and revered race on the schedule, and it is a race that has been taking place for 185 years. As for the Aintree Racecourse itself, it has been open since it was founded all the way back in July 1829. The first Grand National Steeplechase (known as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase at the time) took place exactly 10 years later.

We have already gone through a few facts about the Grand National as a whole and about the equally reputable and famous Aintree Racecourse. We are now going to go through five fascinating facts about the Grand National Steeplechase.

5 – Fastest winner of Grand National Steeplechase (1990)

For the first entry on this list, we are taking a look at the fastest-ever winner of the famous Grand National Steeplechase. This specific record goes all the way back to 1990, when amateur jockey Marcus Armytage, riding Mr Frisk, won with a time of just 8 minutes and 47.8 seconds, beating runner-up Durham Edition (Chris Grant) by three quarters of a length.

In winning with this time, Armytage and Mr Frisk had beaten the previous record set by the legendary Red Rum in 1973 by a margin of just 14.10 seconds.

By contrast, Lottery, the first winner of this race, won with a time of 14 minutes and 53 seconds in 1839.

4 – Youngest Jockey to win Grand National (1938)

We now move on to the jockey that still holds the record of being the youngest ever Jockey to win the Grand National Steeple Chase, even after almost 90 years. We rewind back to 1938, and that year saw Bruce Hobbs, at the age of just 17, when he was able to emerge victorious after riding Battleship to victory.

Hobbs’ victory meant that he had beaten Royal Danieli in second by a margin of just a head, whilst Jimmy Brogan’s Workman came in third place, rounding off the top three in that year’s race.

The oldest jockey to ever win this race was Dick Saunders, who won the 1982 Grand National riding Grittar to victory at the age of 47.

3 – Shortest winning margin (2012)

We will now fast forward from 1938 to the year 2012 when history was made with the closest ever finish in the long and illustrious history of the Aintree Grand National Steeplechase. This record is still held by Neptune Collonges (Daryl Jacob) from that year’s race, beating runner-up Sunnyhillboy (Richie McLernon) by a margin of just a nose in what was a photo finish in the end.

2 – Oldest winning horse (1853)

For our next entry on this list, we will have to go back in time again, all the way back to the 1853 renewal of the Aintree Grand National Steeplechase. The record is set by Peter Simple, who won that year’s edition of this special race aged 15. Jockey Tom Olliver rode Peter Simple to victory ahead of the likes of Miss Mowbray (Frank Gordon) and Oscar (Alec Goodman), who had to settle for second and third place finishes respectively.

1 – 21 entries, 0 victories (1997 – 2019)

We now come to the final entry on this list. It concerns legendary jockey Richard Johnson, who, in his trophy laden career, won a number of major races, including two Cheltenham Gold Cups, a Queen Mother Champion Chase, a Champion Hurdle, 2 Irish Gold Cups, a Punchestown Gold Cup, 3 Triumph Hurdles, 3 Stayers’ Hurdles, and 2 Welsh Grand Nationals.

However, despite this success, Richard Johnson never won the Aintree Grand National Steeplechase in 21 entries throughout his career. His first entry in 1997 saw his horse Celtic Abbey unseat him, whilst there was a fall or the horse pulling up in the next four entries (1998 – Banjo, 1999 – Baronet, 2000 – Star Traveller & 2001 – Edmond).

The closest that Johnson ever came to winning the Grand National Steeplechase were second place finishes that he was able to achieve in 2002 with What’s Up Boys and with Balthazar King back in 2014’s renewal of this legendary race.

Excitement and anticipation is building rapidly ahead of the 2024 Grand National, which is set to get underway for three days of enthralling racing from Thursday 11th April 2024.

There is no better way to enjoy world-class horse racing at the 2024 Grand National than with an Eventmasters VIP Hospitality Package. Book now to avoid disappointment!

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