It is 40 years since the Nation’s favourite racehorse, Red Rum, won the first of his record-breaking three Grand Nationals in 1973.
And this year’s £975,000 race, presented by the universally acclaimed broadcaster Clare Balding, looks set to bring its usual mix of drama and excitement, with questions such as can Katie Walsh (who came third in the 2012 race) become the first female jockey to win the Grand National aboard heavily backed Seabass (10-1), trained by her father Ted? That is her dad, not the Irish telly Priest.
Can the 2011 winner, Ballabriggs, make it a sixth win for the McCain family who trained Red Rum to victory in 1973, 1974 and 1977; and Amberleigh House in 2004? As well as will last year’s runner up (by the smallest of margins) Sunnyhillboy or fourth placed horse, Cappa Bleu, move up in the rankings this year and clinch victory?
Others are pondering whether multi-millionaire owner Graham Wylie claim a first win in the race with one of his market-leading fancies On His Own (8-1) or Prince de Beauchene (10-1)?
First run in 1839 this iconic race is a supreme test of equine and human courage and athleticism and attracts a worldwide audience of 600 million people across 140 countries. It’s one of the biggest betting events of the year with bookmakers estimating £500 million being bet on the day.
The World’s most famous horserace, the John Smith’s Grand National will be shown live on Channel 4 at 4.15pm today, Saturday 6th April.
[Reported by Neil Lang]