The Grand National is one of the most famous horse races in the world. It takes place every year at Aintree Racecourse in England. The first-ever Grand National was in 1839. Since then its popularity has expanded dramatically, thanks to the gambling industry.
During the race, horses jump over 30 fences in a two-lap chase. The course has a distance of just over four miles and is extremely difficult to complete. The annual event brings together some of the best horses and jockeys in the industry. A £1 million prize fund is given out to the winner.
Over the years the Grand National has cemented itself as an essential part of British culture. Often the images of the race are synonymous with horse racing as a whole. In the run-up to the race, national newspapers will list the competitors along with their odds of winning. People who do not usually gamble have been known to make an exception for the Grand National. Bookmakers see a significant spike in placed bets on this day.
It attracts a large amount of media attention. The race and its build-up are broadcast live on terrestrial UK television. Up to 600 million people have watched the international broadcast. Well-known sports commentators give their feedback on their favourite horses which can end up affecting the betting odds.
People lucky enough to get tickets to the event will be able to enjoy the community atmosphere. Before and after the race, there are open-air bars available. The media interviews members of the public, asking them which horses they have bet on. The fashion of patrons is also noted, especially when it comes to women’s hats. Seeing the Grand National live is a communal event, where people can soak up the excitement with thousands of others.