The Grand National; Fun Facts And Winning Tips (Maybe!)

The Grand National; Fun Facts And Winning Tips (Maybe!)

The Greatest Steeplechase In The World is approaching 200 year old and is still as popular as ever. The event regularly draws a worldwide audience of over 600 million viewers in more than 140 countries. That makes it more popular than Emmerdale, which makes me sad.

The Grand National - horses jumping a fence

Today’s running of the equine highlight of the year comes sandwiched between a bunch of football matches to form a spectacular sporting smorgasbord as I limber up ahead of the pubs reopening on Monday.

I have a somewhat mixed track record when it comes to betting on the horses. At times I can pick winners at awesome prices with ease, on another day I could cause you to lose your house. Not that it’ll stop me giving you a couple of suggestions if you’re still deliberating over the runners and riders.

I can’t see past Cloth Cap as the eventual victor. Sure, it’s easy to pick the favourite as a tip but, seriously, with a clear run and some luck he should be untouchable. For an each way bet I’ve selected Farclas. I can’t give you any sound, logical reason for this and the fact that I’ve just discovered the jockey’s silks are red, white and blue only serves to make me wonder what I was thinking. Still, it’s done now… mucho suerte!

If you want a tip with an actual chance of winning, check here.

if you know me at all, you’ll be aware that I love a fun fact. This would explain the dominating performance at the resumption of the Friday Night Street Quiz yesterday, but more of that in another post!

Doing my research for the race I discovered the following “interesting” snippets;

One of the most radius fences is called Becher’s Brook. It is named after a Captain Martin Becher, who fell from his horse there in the inaugural Grand National in 1839. I’m suggesting they name the low wall round the local Boozer after me!

The aptly named Lottery won the first Grand National in 1839, but he did so with the slowest winning time in history. It took him 14 minutes and 53 seconds to finish the race. I can only assume the jockey became lost at some point on the watpy round.

The Duke of Albuquerque became obsessed with winning the Grand National after watching a film of the race on his 8th birthday. He fell from his horse and cracked his vertebra on his first attempt in 1952. His next two attempts ended in disaster: he was unseated again in 1963, and then broke his leg in a bad fall in 1965. In 1976, he was trampled after falling once again, and he had to spend several days in a coma. At the age 57, the Iron Duke still tried to compete, but officials revoked his license for his own safety. He never did win the Grand National, but he broke 22 bones and suffered more than 100 fractures during his endeavors. I’d have quit after the first.

Enjoy the race and I hope you’ve backed a winner. If not, lump on Barça to edge El Clásico tonight instead.

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