The Grand National is an annual National Hunt horse race which takes place at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool. The race is watched by around 70,000 people at the course, as well as an estimated 500-600 million global television audience.
The Grand National was first run in 1839 and was won by a horse called Lottery. This year sees the 118th running of the race which takes place on the 4 mile, 3½ furlong course with the winner receiving over £500,000 in winnings.
This year's event takes place on Saturday 11 April but racing takes place across three days with the Grand Opening Day on Thursday 9 and Ladies Day on Friday 10 before the Grand National Day.
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11 April - Check the weather forecast for the biggest steeplechase event in the UK, the Grand National.
The Grand National consists of two laps of the Aintree National Course with 30 fences for the horses to jump including the famous Becher's Brook, The Chair and the Canal Turn. The course record is 8 minutes 48 seconds which was achieved by Mr Frisk in 1990. Red Rum is the most successful horse in the history of the race with three wins (1973, 1974, 1977). In 2014 the race was won by Pineau de Re who was ridden by Leighton Aspell and trained by Richard Newland.
Spectators and riders will all be looking for the perfect race conditions to suit the style of their chosen horse and rider. All 40 riders will be looking for a clear and not too gusty day.
On the day of the race the course officials will check the course conditions and inform the owners and jockeys. This information also helps those who have an interest in the race. Owners will be looking for the course to be classed as 'good' which means the ground will be neither too hard or too soggy.
Will the weather make for a successful race day? Check the Aintree Racecourse weather weather forecast.
Red Rum is probably the most famous name to be associated with the Grand National. Red Rum won the Grand National in 1973 and 1974, but then came second in the next two Grand Nationals. After having two years of poor race placements and calls to retire due to being over raced his trainer Donald McCain had faith that the winning horse could take one more title. Red Rum went on to win the 1977 Grand National.
Red Rum passed away at the age of 30 and is buried at the finishing line of the Grand National course. There is also a gold statue of the three-time winner at Aintree.
To check all the runners and riders in this year's Grand National check the official Grand National site.
You can check the weather forecast for other events through the Events Calendar.
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