Following the disappointment of seeing the 2020 National canceled, it’s time to put that all behind us and look forward to the Grand National 2021. Thankfully the Jockey Club has put some dates in the calendar and all being well, we should get to see our favourite chasers taking to the famous starting tape as planned.
The 2021 Aintree Grand National festival is scheduled in from Thursday April 8th 2021 – Saturday 10th April 2021. That means that the Grand National 2021 will be on April 10th, the last day of the festival.
What Time Is The Grand National?
The race will begin at 5.15pm after a huge build-up which will be televised in the UK on ITV. 40 runners and riders will line-up with only one pair destined to make history. So who will it be in 2021?
The race hasn’t always been run at that time. Remember in 1999 when it started at 3.45pm and Bobbyjo won it??
By 2005 the race time had been changed to 4.10pm but the following year that was pushed out again to 4.15pm. It remained that way for 10 years until 2016 when it moved to the start time of 5.15pm.
The main reason is tv ratings. The later in the day that the race starts, the more people are able to watch it when they get home from work. It also allows for a longer build-up and the races before it tend to get higher viewing figures.
How Long Is The Grand National?
That all depends on whether you mean how long is the course or how long does the race last…
In terms of the course that the Grand National is run on at Aintree, the distance is four miles and two-and-a-half furlongs (4m 2f 7fyds). It used to be slightly longer but was reduced by a furlong in 2016 to improve safety. A furlong is 201 metres or 1/8 of a mile.
When we talk about how long the race lasts, well that varies. The fastest winning time is 8 minutes 47 seconds and that was Mr Frisk in 1990.
The slowest time ever recorded was 11 minutes 3 seconds and that was by Zoedone all the back in 1883.
In more recent years, most of the races have finished just after the 9 minute mark. Only one winner in the last ten renewals has won in a faster time. That was Many Clouds in 2015 who won the race in 8m 56.8s.
How Many People Attend The National?
Over the course of three days, in excess of 150,000 will attend the Aintree festival. On Grand National day itself, there are approximately 70,000 racegoers.
It is by far the biggest day and the Grand National statistics are quite incredible.
Over the three-day meeting at Aintree, more than 200,000 pints will be pulled and 5,500 bottles of champagne will be popped. And with the price of a bottle of champers topping £100, that’s quite a lot of cash spent on booze!
And of course, they all need to keep their drinks nice and cold so over 1,413,600 ice cubes will be used to chill drinks.
However, not everybody that attends is there to get drunk, and that is why 75,000 cups of tea and coffee will be served over the three days.
Grand National Betting
We can’t talk about the Grand National and not mention the betting. It is estimated that 30 million bets will be placed on the National, topping £200 million.
Most of those bets will be quite small as having a flutter on the race tends to be a family affair. So what you end up with is multiple £1 or £2 bets per person rather than any mega money being placed.
As for who to back in the National, well that’s completely up to you. Will you study the form and whittle down your choices or will you simply stick a pin in the newspaper? Maybe you’ll get a good feeling about a horse based on its name or perhaps a mate gave you a tip.
Any way that you pick your horse has as good a chance as any other. Genuinely, people backed 2016 winner Rule The World because it was their favourite Take That song. Others backed Auroras Encore because their kids loved Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. And the wine lovers were out in force to put their cash on Pineau De Re.
So it just goes to show that in a race as complex as the Grand National any horse can really have a chance.