The Grand National is back today, the most awaited race on the British calendar. The world’s most famous steeplechase features 40 runners tackling the 30 fences of the Aintree Grand National over the course of four miles, 2 and a half furlongs.
The confirmed final list of 40 riders was announced on Thursday. Defending champion, Noble Yeats, is back and is heavy favorites for a repeat win.
If you are organizing a raffle, you can download our raffle kit. Or, if you fancy a simple bet, check out our Grand National tips.
Here’s everything you need to know about today’s race.
When is the Grand National 2023?
The Grand National is the world’s most famous steeplechase and the highlight of the three-day Grand National Festival at Aintree, which this year runs from Thursday 13 April to Saturday 15 April.
The main event, the Grand National itself, is this afternoon.
What time does the race start?
The runners will go post today at 5:15pm. The national team itself is the sixth of today’s seven fixtures at Aintree. At just under four and a half miles it is arguably the longest race of the entire three day meeting.
How can I watch the race? What TV channel is it on?
The Festival usually welcomes more than 150,000 racing enthusiasts. Live TV coverage is on ITV and Racing TV.
What is the current weather forecast and bulletin?
After Thursday and Friday showers, the forecast for today is sunny becoming cloudy in the early evening.
According to Aintree officials, the ground on the National course this morning was good to soft, in places soft.
What horses are racing in the 2023 Grand National?
The final 40-rider lineup was confirmed on Thursday morning. Unlike last year’s editions, this year if a horse is retired after these 48 hour declarations, that horse will not be replaced.
Monday’s five-day declarations saw the field shrink to 50, with Gordon Elliott’s horses Gevrey and Punitive just outside the 40-horse cut line. Our Power and Dunboyne snuck in near the bottom of the weights.
As it stands, the 40 runners will be the horses numbered 1-40 in our complete guide to the 2023 Grand National runners and riders. We also have our raffle kit which you can download and print to see who among your friends or business colleagues chooses the winner.
What animal rights protests are on the agenda today?
For full details, see our story on the biggest security operation at Aintree in more than two decades, which includes increased police presence and spotters working on the roofs of the grandstands around the pitch. Animal Rising, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, plans to prevent the race from starting. However, the group has said it will not enter the track itself if there are horses and jockeys on horseback.
A press release from the group read: “[Our operation] will kick off on Saturday when the group aims to disrupt the Grand National, urging animal lovers to ‘show up’ at Aintree Racecourse from 9.30am”.
Animal Rising spokesman Nathan McGovern added on Friday: “Animal Rising intends to make sure the Grand National doesn’t even start tomorrow afternoon. We know that if the race does start, the horses will likely die like Eclair Surf and Discorama did last year.
“People will try to put their bodies between horses and damage by canceling the whole ride. We know a horse dies every two or three days in UK racing, along with over a billion in our food system, and we want to see the end of that.”
Where is the Grand National 2023?
The meeting takes place at Aintree Racecourse, six miles from Liverpool. Aintree has hosted the race since it was first held in 1839. In 1993, however, the Grand National was declared void, the only time in the race’s history. We have the inside story of one of the jockeys riding that day.
What are some of the famous Grand National fences?
Aintree’s fences aren’t as dangerous as they once were. However, they are still the most notorious hurdles in the industry.
The chair: The chair is the tallest fence on the course, now standing at five feet two inches.
Beaker brook: The sixth and twenty-second fences of the race may not be the largest, but its difficulty comes from the fact that the landing side is 10 inches lower than the take off side. It is named after Captain Martin Becher, a jockey who fell at this stage in the first running of the race in 1839 and hid in the stream to avoid injury.
Valentine’s Brook: It gets its name from a horse that allegedly made it jump backwards in the 1840s. More likely, the horse spun in mid-air to create the optical illusion that its hind legs landed first.
foinavon: One of the smaller fences is named after the 100/1 pitch which avoided a disastrous pile-up here in 1967 and won.
Canal tour: As the name suggests, horses must make a sharp left turn after jumping this five-foot obstacle. Another Aintree myth is that used horses that refused to turn ended up in the Liverpool and Leeds canal.
Are Grand National tickets available?
Tickets for some areas of Aintree have already sold out for today but, as of this morning, there were still tickets to The Embankment, for £42 for adults and free for children, on the official racecourse website: www.thejockeyclub. co. UK. Some tickets may be available at the gate, subject to availability.
For hospitality tickets interested parties should call 0151 522 2911. Parking is £30 extra.
How are the horses chosen for the Grand National?
Only a certain number of horses meet the criteria to compete in the Grand National. Among the requirements must:
have an official rating (OR) of 125 or more,
be at least 7 years old,
have completed three or more hedges,
have completed an obstacle course in the current season,
finished between 1st and 4th in a steeplechase over 2 miles 7 1/2 furlongs or more.
How does the handicapping system work?
As a handicap race, the Grand National provides an opportunity for slightly less imaginative horses to compete on a more even playing field. The handicap formula, as determined by the British Horseracing Authority, means that lower tier horses carry a few pounds less weight than higher tier contenders.
The bare minimum a horse can carry to the National is 10st 2oz (including jockey). The horse with the higher weight – Any Second Now – will carry 11st 12lb, with the remainder of the handicap weights resolved by this higher weight. In 2015 Many Clouds won carrying 11st 9oz, the heaviest handicap for a winner in recent history. Last year’s winner, Noble Yeats, brought only 10st 10oz. The last horse to win carrying heavyweight was Red Rum in 1973, when the maximum handicap was set at 12th.
The weights for this year’s contest were announced on February 21st.
What’s the latest on Grand National?
Punters are backing Rachael Blackmore to secure a second Randox Grand National, with her Ain’t That A Shame mount rising to the top of the market for today’s Aintree flagship.
Blackmore created history two years ago when she led Minella Times to victory, becoming the first woman to lead the winner of the four and a quarter mile marathon. Like Minella Times, Ain’t That A Shame is formed by Henry de Bromhead.
The nine-year-old recorded his first chase success, on the seventh time he’s called for it, at Gowran Park last month, with form subsequently boosted when runner-up Macs Charm scored at Fairyhouse on Monday. Having been up to 16-1 with a few companies on Friday morning, he cut the price in half in the afternoon.
Blackmore feels he has what it takes to run a great race in the national team.
“Ain’t That A Shame has quite a profile for the race,” he told his Betfair blog. “He was unfortunate to have just been beaten in the Munster National at Limerick in October, and it wasn’t my best day in the saddle when I finished fourth with him in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas.
“But he won well at Gowran on the last day, and it wasn’t a bad thing that the runner-up went out and won at Fairyhouse there over the weekend.
“You don’t really know how a horse is going to handle the track or the fences until you get out there, but he’s done a jump on the National fences at the Curragh, and done well. I’d be confident he’ll take to the fences well.
“He travels well during his races which is a big help. You just hope you can get into a good position and find a good race pace over the first few fences. I hope he can.
“After that, you never know, it’s the Grand National, but it has its chance and I’m looking forward to it.”
Ain’t That A Shame has the colors of Brian Acheson’s Robcour, but apparently doesn’t share Blackmore’s optimism, saying: “I don’t know where the money comes from. Really no, it’s useless, honestly, it’s useless!”
Peter Carberry renews the partnership this time and the manager said: “I think we have two chances live with Gabbys Cross and Ain’t That A Shame.
“They are both in good shape and I hope they can give a good showing of themselves.”
Bookmakers are attributing the tide of money to Blackmore’s popularity.
Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: “The ‘Blackmore’ effect seems to be sweeping the nation as everyone seems to be backing Ain’t That A Shame at the Grand National.
“Blackmore made history by becoming the first woman to win the famous race two years ago and the public is backing her to repeat that feat. As a bookmaker, it’s certainly an achievement we pray you avoid.”
What are the latest odds on the Grand National winner?
The current favorites for the 2023 Grand National are as follows. Telegraph Sport has also published a comprehensive guide on how to bet on the race and which horses you should consider.
It’s not a pity 8/1
Delta work 9/1
Corach Rambler 10/10
Any second now 12/12
Gaillard Du Mesnil 12/12
The big dog 12/12
Noble Yeats 14/1
Mr Incredible 14/1
The Milos 16/1
Back on the lash 18/1
Roi Magician 20/1
Longhouse poet 22/1
New Year’s 22/1
Our power 22/1
You can also view the full list of riders and their odds for the 2023 Grand National.
This article has been updated with the latest information for the 2023 Grand National.
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