Aintree Grand National Racecourse Info & History

The Grand National is held each spring for over 160 years and has a massive worldwide audience. It is the most famous and attractive race of the year on the British horse racing calendar.

The Grand National is a Steeplechase competition requiring horse and jockey to successfully complete two circuits of a 2.25 mile completing the race with a 494 yard run.

The course has sixteen obstacles each of which must be negotiated twice by the contestants with the exception of the Chair and the Water Jump which must be completed the first time around the course only.

The race which is run over four and a half miles, includes famous fences such as “Becher’s Brook”, “The Canal Turn”, “The Chair” and “Valentine’s Brook” which have provided some long lasting memories over the years and each have their own story to tell.

A maximum of 40 horses are allowed to compete each year all needing to jump 30 fences in total to finish the race with 14 of those jumped twice and two fences “The Chair” which is the tallest and broadest fence at 5 feet 2 inches and “The Water Jump” each being jumped once going into the final sprint of just under 500 yards to that illustrious winning post.

Aintree Grand National Racecourse Layout

Horse Racing

The fences in the order set out on the Aintree race course are as follows:

  • 1 & 17 – Thorn Fence: 4’7” high and 2’9” wide.
  • 2 & 18 – Second Fence: 4’7” high and 3’6” wide.
  • 3 & 19 – Westhead: 5’ high this is made more difficult by a 6’ ditch just before the fence.
  • 4 & 20 – Plain Fence: 4’10” high and 3’ wide.
  • 5 & 21 – Spruce Dressed Fence: 5’ high and 3’6” wide.
  • 6 & 22 – Becher’s Brook: Named after Captain Becher, who fell off his horse at this point in the race in the first Grand National. This is the most challenging fence on the course. The fence is 4’9 high at the take-off side of the obstacle but is 6’9 high on the landing side, taking the horse by surprise.
  • 7 & 23 – Foinavon Fence: Named after Foinavon, the only horse to negotiate the fence in 1967 at the first attempt, this obstacle is the smallest fence on the course at 4’6” high and 3’ wide.
  • 8 & 24 – Canal Turn: Covered in hawthorn branches this has a canal on the landing side of the fence requiring horses to turn 90 degrees to avoid the water.
  • 9 & 25 – Valentine’s Brook: Similar to the Canal Turn, this has a brook on the landing side of the fence which is 5’6” wide’.
  • 10 & 26 – Thorn Fence: 5’ high and 3’ wide.
  • 11 & 27 – Booth:5’ high and 3’ wide this is made more difficult by a 6’ wide ditch on the take-off side of the fence.
  • 12 & 28 – 5’ high and 3’ wide this has a ditch on the landing side of the fence.
  • 13 & 29 – 4’7” high and 3’ wide.
  • 14 & 30 – 4’7” high and 3’ wide. This is the final jump of the course.
  • 15 The Chair (negotiated only once) – 5’3 high on the take-off side of the fence and 4’8 high at the landing side of the fence this is made more difficult by the increased height of the turf on landing as well as a 6’wide ditch on the take-off side.
  • 16 The Water Jump(negotiated only once) – 2’9’ high’ on the take-off side and 3’2 on the landing side, this is made even more difficult by an 8’10 channel of water just after the obstacle, creating an extremely challenging and spectacular finish to the course.

Aintree Grand National Short History

The best loved horse race on the British calendar, first official Grand National was held at Aintree in 1839, although the first race at Aintree took place three years earlier.

The Grand National was founded by William Lynn who, during the early Nineteenth Century, was the innkeeper of the Waterloo Hotel in Liverpool.

After sponsoring the Waterloo Cup, a successful hare coursing event, Lynn conceived the idea of hiring some land on which to hold race meetings and, in 1829, he began leasing Aintree racecourse.

Horse racing took place at Aintree from 1829 until 1835 with three meetings being held each year. In 1836 Lynn took his plans one step further when he initiated the very first Steeplechase (a race course with obstacles) at Aintree held on 29th February 1836, which was famously won by The Duke and his rider, Captain Becher.

The Aintree Steeplechase was a huge success and continued for the next two years although the race was moved to Maghull, another racecourse in Liverpool.

In 1839 the Steeplechase was moved back to Aintree and dubbed the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, now regarded as the very first Grand National.

The 1839 Steeplechase was won by Lottery with the renowned rider Captain Becher falling into a brook at the sixth obstacle, now known as Becher’s Fence.

Since 1839 the Grand National has been raced every year except during the Second World War when it was suspended for four years. During the First World War the race continued but was held at Gatwick (now the airport) instead of Aintree.

The race was introduced to radio listeners in 1927 and in 1960 the Grand National was televised for the first time with its popularity continuing to increase ever since.

Historic Horses

There are many horses to have gone down in history at the Grand National but below are a few of the most famous:

Red Rum – The only horse in history to have won the Grand National three times, Red Rum raced to victory in 1973, 1974 and 1977.

Famed for negotiating each obstacle with extreme dexterity Red Rum was an astounding 12 years old when he won his final race.

He retired in 1978 after getting a hairline fracture during a pre-National warm-up day and, after a celebrity career lasting until 1995, Red Rum’s life ended and he was buried by the winning post on the Aintree course.

Aldanti – Racing to victory in the Grand National of 1979, Aldanti and his jockey Bob Champion went down in history as a pair who won the race against all the odds.

Diagnosed of cancer in 1979, Champion was given just months to live whilst Aldanti had almost been retired from racing with serious leg trouble. After their unlikely win, Champion made a full recovery and Aldanti lived until the age of 27, dying in March 1977.

The inspirational story of the determined horse and jockey went on to inspire the 1983 film Champions, which starred John Hurt as Bob Champion.

Devon Lock – Defeated by E.S.B in 1956, Devon Lock is best remembered for his inexplicable tumble just before the finish line.

On target for a good victory, Devon Lock mysteriously leaped into the air just 50 yards from the end of the course, falling and unseating his jockey, Dick Francis, and losing the pair the race, after which the Queen Mother famously said “that’s racing”.

It is thought that the horse may have made the sudden leap after getting leg cramps or that he may have thought a shadow cast by the final water jump was another obstacle.

Since the incident, Dick Francis has gone on to write a series of thrillers inspired by the mysterious nature of the race.

If you decide to bet on Horse Racing, visit our Free Bets page.

Bookmakers
Bet365 Bet Credits
Bet365 Bet Credits

100% up to £100
Sign up with Bet365, deposit £5 or more and get 100% matched deposit bonus up to £100.

888sport Free Bet
888sport Free Bet

Bet £10 get £40
Place your first bet of £10 and get £30 for sports betting & £10 bonus for Casino, which is £40 bonus in total.

Unibet Free Bet
Unibet Free Bet

£50 Bonus Pack
Place your first bet of minimum £10 and get up to £40 money back for sports betting and £10 extra bonus for casino.

Sport Nation Free Bet
Sport Nation Free Bet

200% up to £100
Get this fantastic £100 bonus when you open an account and make first deposit of £50.

William Hill Free Bet
William Hill Free Bet

Bet £10 get £30
Place your first bet of £10 on minimum odds of 1/2 (1.50) and get 2x£15 welcome bonus.

MansionBet Free Bet
MansionBet Free Bet

Bet £10 get £20
Place a £10 bet on any sports event and get a 2x £10 betting bonus, that is £20 in total.

Fan Team Free Bet
Fan Team Free Bet

Bet £20 get £20
Stake £20 on any sports and you will get £20 money back as a bonus if your first bet wins or loses.

Mr Play Free Bet
Mr Play Free Bet

Bet £10 get £10
Mr Play free bet is very straightforward, place your first bet of £10 at odds of 1/1 and get £10 as a bonus.

Hollywoodbets Free Bet
Hollywoodbets Free Bet

Bet £10 get £5
Place a single bet of £10 on any of the qualifying Dundalk meetings and receive a £5 free bet if your selection wins.

Paddy Power Free Bet
Paddy Power Free Bet

£20 Money Back
Place a £20 bet and if your first bet is a loser, get up to £20 refunded in cash.

BoyleSports Free Bet
BoyleSports Free Bet

Bet £10 get £30
+ £10 No Lose bet on every England match. Get a free bet within an hour - the fastest free bet on the market, only at BoyleSports!

LVbet Free Bet
LVbet Free Bet

Bet £10 get £10
LVbet bet £10 get £10 free bet offer is open for new UK players, only 1 time wagering requirement.

EnergyBet Free Bet
EnergyBet Free Bet

Bet £10 get £10
EnergyBet will match 100% of your first deposit once you sign up and make your first deposit. Bonus is capped at £10, to trigger your free bet place a single bet on odds of 3/4 (1.75).

10Bet Free Bet
10Bet Free Bet

50% up to £50
10Bet offers 50% up to £50 welcome bonus to all new customers from UK, 10Bet bonus code is no longer required.

Betfair Free Bet
Betfair Free Bet

Up to £100
Place 5 bets of £10 or more to receive a £20 bonus, repeat that up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus.

QuinnBet Free Bet
QuinnBet Free Bet

50% up to £25 + 50 FS
QuinnBet offers fantastic bonus pack for new customers from UK: 50 Free Spins + 50% up to £25 refund for all new UK players.

Grosvenor Free Bet
Grosvenor Free Bet

Double The Odds
At Grosvenor, for £10 stake you will get your odds doubled, for example, place your bet on odds of 1/1, and get 3/1.

Bwin Free Bet
Bwin Free Bet

£20 Backup Bet
If your first bet loses, Bwin offers £20 Backup Bet. Bet £20 on football treble and if you lose, get refund up to £20 as a free bet.

STSbet Free Bet
STSbet Free Bet

Up to £50
Wager £100 to get £5 for free, offer can be claimed 10 times with a maximum of £50 bonus cash.

SportingBet Free Bet
SportingBet Free Bet

Up to £60 + 20 FS
Sign up and get up to £50 bonus for sports, odds boost token, 20 free spins and £10 bonus for Casino.

FansBet Free Bet
FansBet Free Bet

Bet £10 get £10 + 50 FS
Sign up, make deposit of minimum £10 to get extra £10 as a free bet + 50 free spins.

BritainBet Free Bet
BritainBet Free Bet

Bet £10 get £10
Make your first deposit of £10 or more at odds of minimum 1/2 (1.50) and receive £10 as a welcome bonus.

32Red Free Bet
32Red Free Bet

100% up to £100
For 32Red free bet, place an In-Play sports bet at any odds and if you win get up to £100 profit boost.

LeoVegas Free Bet
LeoVegas Free Bet

Double Winnings up to £100
LeoVegas free bet on your first Mobile bet - Make a deposit of £10 to be eligible for 100% Profit Boost.

MobileWins Free Bet
MobileWins Free Bet

Bet £10 get £10
Register, make your first deposit of £10 and stake on odds of minimum 1/2 to get £10 welcome bonus.

Vbet Free Bet
Vbet Free Bet

Bet £20 get £10 + 10 FS
Place bet of £20 and if you win you will get 10 free spins, and if your bet loses you will get a £10 back, plus 10 free spins.

Star Sports Free Bet
Star Sports Free Bet

100% Up to £50
Place your first qualifying bet of minimum £10 at odds of 1/1 or more to get up to £50 matched free bet.

MatchBook Free Bet
MatchBook Free Bet

0% Commission
For 0% Commission at MatchBook, sign up with bonus code COMMFREE and deposit funds using a credit or debit card.

Red Zone Sports Free Bet
Red Zone Sports Free Bet

Bet £10 get £10
Place a £10 sports bet on any double using the promo code RZTENDOUBLE to get your £10 free bet on a double.

Ruby Bet Free Bet
Ruby Bet Free Bet

Bet £10 get £10
You will get your £10 free betting bonus when you stake £10 at odds of 1/2 or more, simple as that.

BetRegal Free Bet
BetRegal Free Bet

Bet £20 get £10
Make a deposit of minimum £20 and place a bet at odds of 1/1 or more to get £10 bonus token.

Karamba Free Bet
Karamba Free Bet

Bet £20 get £10
Karamba free bet can't be any easier, spend £20 betting on any sport event at odds of 1/1 and get £10 as free bet.

Bet At Home Free Bet
Bet At Home Free Bet

50% up to €200
To get 50% up to €200 sports free bet, you must use bonus code FIRST while processing your first deposit.

Betsson Free Bet
Betsson Free Bet

100% up to €75
Betsson offers 100% up to €75 bonus on your first deposit + €50 bonus on second deposit.

Games
Rizk Casino Bonus
Rizk Casino Bonus

100% up to £50 & 50 Free Spins
Make your first deposit of minimum £10 to get 50 free spins and up to £50 welcome bonus.

Mr Green Casino Bonus
Mr Green Casino Bonus

100% up to £100 & 100 Free Spins
Deposit to Mr Green casino and get up to £100 bonus & 100 free spins on Lucky Mr Green Slot.

Monster Casino Bonus
Monster Casino Bonus

£5 No Deposit Bonus
For £5 no deposit bonus, register and verify your account via SMS. Further, deposit min £10 and get 50 free spins and up to £500 bonus package.

Great Britain Casino Bonus
Great Britain Casino Bonus

Up to 500 Free Spins
Deposit £10 or more to get a free spin of the Mega Reel for chance to win amazing prizes, like Amazon Vouchers and up to 500 free spins.

UK Casino Club Bonus
UK Casino Club Bonus

Up to £700 Bonus Pack
UK Casino Club offers bonuses on first 5 deposit made to your account, first deposit will be granted with 100% up to £100 bonus.

Regent Casino Bonus
Regent Casino Bonus

Up to £200 & 100 Free Spins
Regent Casino welcome bonus package consists from 3 deposits, on first deposit of minimum £20 you will get 20 free spins and £50 bonus.

William Hill Casino Bonus
William Hill Casino Bonus

100% up to £300 & 50 Free Spins
Process your first deposit of minimum £10 into your account and welcome bonus will be credited automatically.

Quatro Casino Bonus
Quatro Casino Bonus

Up to £100 & 700 Free Spins
Minimum deposit of £10 is required to trigger any bonus, for maximum bonus make deposit of £100 to get £100 bonus and 700 free spins.

Online Casino London Bonus
Online Casino London Bonus

Up to 500 Free Spins
Register and make a minimum deposit of £10 to activate the up to 500 free spins welcome offer.

LeoVegas Casino Bonus
LeoVegas Casino Bonus

10 No Deposit Free Spins
Register, and you will get 10 no deposit wager free spins, plus deposit and get 20 wager free spins and up to £100 bonus pack.

Vegas Paradise Casino Bonus
Vegas Paradise Casino Bonus

100% up to £200
Make your first casino deposit to get credited with 100% up to £200 welcome bonus.

Unibet Casino Bonus
Unibet Casino Bonus

Deposit £10 get £40
Open your new account at Unibet Casino, make a deposit of £10 and get £40 welcome bonus.

Hollywoodbets Casino Bonus
Hollywoodbets Casino Bonus

10% Cash Refund
At Hollywoodbets Casino you will receive 10% Cashback if you happen to finish with a net loss at the end of the week on Slots.

Mr Play Casino Bonus
Mr Play Casino Bonus

Up to £200 & 100 Free Spins
To claim this welcome bonus pack, make a deposit of minimum £10 and you can get up to £200 bonus and 100 free spins.

Paddy Power Live Casino Bonus
Paddy Power Live Casino Bonus

Deposit £10 get 10 Golden Chips
Just Open an account with the bonus code PASREG, stake £10 on Live Roulette to get 10 Golden Chips, no wagering requirements.

Fruity King Casino Bonus
Fruity King Casino Bonus

100% up to £100 & 20 Free Spins
Make a deposit of minimum £10 and you will get 100% up to £100 bonus + 20 free spins on Book Of Dead slot.

STSbet Casino Bonus
STSbet Casino Bonus

100% up to £100
Make first deposit between £10 and £100 with code CWBUK100 and get up to £100 welcome bonus.

Bwin Casino Bonus
Bwin Casino Bonus

Deposit £10 get 100 Free Spins
For 100 free spins bonus, open an account and make a minimum deposit of £10 to activate the 100 free spins to use on Starburst slot.

Bet365 Casino Bonus
Bet365 Casino Bonus

100% up to £100
Deposit or transfer £10 or more, and select the code BONUS100 to claim your 100% up to £100 bonus.

Grosvenor Casino Bonus
Grosvenor Casino Bonus

Deposit £20 get £30
For this £30 welcome bonus, simply register and make your first deposit of £20 to get £20 for Casino and £10 for Classic Slots or Live Casino.

​SportingBet Casino Bonus
​SportingBet Casino Bonus

Deposit £10 get 100 Free Spins
Register and make a deposit of £10, once that has been completed your 100 free spins bonus will be credited automatically.

Casino Nation Bonus
Casino Nation Bonus

Up to £500 Bonus Pack
Use bonus code SNCAS1 to get 100% up to £200 bonus on first deposit and SNCAS2 to get 50% up to £300 bonus on second deposit.

32Red Casino Bonus
32Red Casino Bonus

£10 No Deposit Bonus
Open an account and get £10 no deposit bonus, plus make first deposit of minimum £10 and get 150% up to £150 deposit bonus.

FansBet Casino Bonus
FansBet Casino Bonus

500% up to £50
To qualify for 500% up to £50 welcome bonus, make your first deposit of minimum £10 using bonus code FBWELC.

Karamba Casino Bonus
Karamba Casino Bonus

100% up to £50 & 100 Free Spins
Get 100% up to £50 bonus and 20 free spins upon first deposit of £10, plus another 80 free spins upon 2nd & 3rd deposit of £20.

Betfair Casino Bonus
Betfair Casino Bonus

Deposit £10 get £30 & 100 Free Spins
Sign up to Betfair Casino with promo code CASA10, make a deposit of £10 to get £30 bonus and 100 free spins.

888 Casino Bonus
888 Casino Bonus

£88 Free Play
Open an account and get £88 no deposit Free Play, plus make first deposit of at least £20 to take 100% up to £100 bonus.

Bet365 Poker Bonus
Bet365 Poker Bonus

Up to €365 Package
Get up to €365 bonus - Welcome Prize Wheel spin, €1 Twister ticket & five €100 Bronze Loyalty tournament tickets.

Bet365 Esports Bonus
Bet365 Esports Bonus

100% up to £100
Make a real money deposit of minimum £5 and you will get 100% up to £100 welcome bonus for Esports betting.

Bet365 Games Bonus
Bet365 Games Bonus

100% up to £50
Deposit or transfer between £10 and £50 to claim your 100% up to £50 welcome bonus at Bet365 Games.

Mecca Bingo Bonus
Mecca Bingo Bonus

Spend £10 win up to £120
Spend £10 and give that reel a spin to win up to £120 as a Mecca Bingo bonus.

GGbet Esports Bonus
GGbet Esports Bonus

100% up to £100
Register with our exclusive bonus code FBUK and get a 100% up to $100 welcome bonus for Esports.

Unibet Bingo Bonus
Unibet Bingo Bonus

Deposit £10 get £20
Sign up to Unibet Bingo, deposit £10 and get £20 in free bingo bonus tickets to spend as you like.

Bingo Com Bonus
Bingo Com Bonus

Deposit £10 get £20 & 40 Free Spins
Make a deposit of minimum £10 and you will get £20 bonus, plus 40 free spins on Starburst slot.

Paddy Power Bingo Bonus
Paddy Power Bingo Bonus

Spend £10 get £40 + 40 Free Spins
Stake £10 on bingo tickets and get 40 free spins, £30 bingo bonus & £10 slots bonus, £40 in total.

Bet365 Bingo Bonus
Bet365 Bingo Bonus

Get 200 Free Tickets & 20 Free Spins
Join Bet365 Bingo and spend £10 on Bingo Tickets to get 200 Free Tickets and 20 Free Spins.

William Hill Vegas Bonus
William Hill Vegas Bonus

Get 50 No Deposit Free Spins
To claim this fantastic welcome bonus, just register and get 50 free spins as a welcome bonus to spend on Vegas games.

William Hill Bingo Bonus
William Hill Bingo Bonus

Spend £5 get £25
Use William Hill Bingo bonus code BINGONEW while signing up to get £25 free when you spend only £5.