Grand National is a festival with tradition in England, which began in 1839. The festival is very popular among horseracing enthusiasts worldwide and every year has become more appreciated because at the festival runs some of the finest horses in the world.
The festival takes over three days and this year it will start on 3 and will end on 5 April 2014 with, of course the most important race being held in the last day of the festival .
In the first day of the festival , we have three Grade 1 races, a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 race, one Listed and a Class 1 race. The most important race in the first day is The Betfred Bowl . Last year champion was First Lieutenant, and this year one of the main favourites is Silviniaco Conti
, who finished last year in the third place.
In the second day of the festival , also known as the Ladies Day , The Melling Chase Grade 1 race is one of the big races in that day . With a distance of 2m 4f and sixteen fences , this race prepares us for the big event that will take place next day . Last year the champion was Sprinter Sacre and this year Cue Card
is announced as the main favourite to win . He won the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival this year and ended in the second place in 2013 at Melling Chase.
The third day is the most expected day. The most important race is the race named after the festival. The Grand National is one of the most appreciated handicap steeplechase in the world. It runs the distance of 4 miles 3f 110f (7,141 meters) at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool. But what makes it so interesting that 600 million people in over 140 countries watched the race in 2013.
Each year 40 participants start the race and at least 5 of them do not finish. They run two times the circuit at Aintree and they have to jump over 16 different types of fences (16 times in the first circuit and 14 times in the second), fences well known around the world like the Canal Turn , when after the jump the riders have to make a 90 degree turn, or like Bechers Brook fence , a fence where the landing side of the fence is lower than the take off side, putting a lot of problems for the horses being unaware of the drop until they are up in the air. Of course the price money make this one of the most valuable jump horse racing in Europe. In 2013 a total of 975,000 pounds price fund was allocated, and the winner went home with a over 500,000 pounds. This year the prize fund is approaching 1 million pounds. Last year champion was Auroras Encore , an Irish-bred , who ended his racing career this year in January 2014.
This year the main favorite to win this race is Miss R Curtis 10 years old horse Teaforthree
. He has a good finished this year at Ascot , ending in the second place and last year at Grand National , finishing third.
, at the age of 13 has a good form , despite his age. He ended in second place this year at Leopardstown , and in third place in December 2013 at Chepstow. He won in his career so far three Grade Ones over fences and four Grade Two events over hurdles, showing that he can win any time a big race if he has the right trainer beside him , and Paul Nicholls is the right trainer for him in this moment.
With a Cheltenham Gold Cup , six Grade One races and two King Georges won, Long Run
in another serious competitor this year at The Grand National. He finished in the first place this year at Kelso and in third place in Punchestown in april 2013.
Grand National Festival 3rd-5th Apr. 2014
Thursday 3rd April 2014
14.00pm Matalan Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices Hurdle (Grade1)
14.30pm Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)
15.05pm Betfred Bowl (Grade 1)
15.40pm John Smiths Fox Hunters Chase (Class 1)
16.15pm Matalan Red Rum Chase (Grade 3)
16.50pm Betfred Manifesto Novices Chase (Grade 2)
17.25pm Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle (Listed)
Friday 4th April 2014 - Day Two
14.00pm John Smiths Top Novices Hurdle (Grade 2)
14.30pm John Smiths Mildmay Novices Chase (Grade 2)
15.05pm John Smiths Melling Chase (Grade 1)
15.40pm John Smiths Topham Chase (Listed)
16.15pm John Smiths Sefton Novices Hurdle (Grade 1)
16.50pm John Smiths Mirror Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
17.25pm John Smiths Mares Open Flat Race (Listed)
Saturday 5th April 2014 - Day Three
13.45pm John Smiths Mersey Novices Hurdle (Grade 2)
14.15pm John Smiths Maghull Novices Chase (Grade 1)
14.50pm Liverpool Hurdle (Grade 1)
15.25pm John Smiths Handicap Chase
16.15pm John Smiths Grand National
17.10pm John Smiths Handicap Hurdle (Grade 2)
17.40pm John Smiths Champion Open Flat Race (Grade 3)