It’s getting to that time of year when the media talk increasing about the Grand National. And for many of us – even those who have no other interest in horse racing whatsoever – this really is the best race on the planet.
Now the National has come in for some understandable criticism over recent years for cruelty to the horses – so the fences have been made safer and various other measures introduced to protect the horses. It remains a dangerous race to man and beast, but then so do all other jump races and sports which are far less natural for horses such as dressage and show-jumping, yet attract no criticism oddly.
Anyway, the UK still loves the race with an estimated £150m gambled away in racing betting in this country alone each year.
At the Liverpool course itself, a crowd of over 70,000 turns up each year to see the horses in the flesh and witness the whole event – whilst around 600 million more viewers get a far better view of proceedings on televisions around the world.
Each year, 40 runners and riders compete in what is the world’s most famous steeplechase by far – and the interest in the race just seems to get bigger every year.
In Britain, an amazing two-thirds of the adult population place a bet on the race – which for many families is part of a tradition where everyone in the household makes a selection.
This year’s Grand National will take place on Saturday April 5th. It will be the 167th running of the great race. The weights have recently been announced and if you fancy a long-shot “ante-post” gamble in advance of the race, you’ll almost definitely get far better racing live betting odds than you would on the day. But if your selection doesn’t run, you’ll forfeit your stake, so be careful.
A maximum of 40 horses can run but currently, there are still over 100 entries. So to be safe, leave any bets until much nearer the day – but whatever you do; don’t miss the greatest race on earth!