The Grand National is a premium event on the National Hunt horse racing calendar and is held every April at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England. Grand National betting is widespread in the UK and Ireland and is particularly popular amongst many people who do not normally watch or bet on horse racing at other times of the year.
The race took place for the first time in 1839 and is a handicap steeplechase nearly 7000 meters long which sees horses jumping 30 fences over a grueling two laps. The Grand National is the highest value jump race in Europe, with a prize fund that has increased substantially over the years, settling at a cool £1m in recent years.
Since its inception, the Grand National has remained one of the most popular horse racing betting events all over the world. The event has seen over £250 million placed in bets in recent years. The race is known as “the ultimate test of horse and rider” for its length and the strain placed on both horse and jockey throughout.
The course features bigger fences than those found on other National Hunt tracks, and many of them have become incredibly famous in their own right. Some popular Grand National betting markets include outright winner, each way and even non-finisher - due to the testing nature of the race.
The popularity of the Grand National is reflected in its ability to stay relevant throughout the year, as is seen by the fluctuation of bookmakers predictive markets, some of which run from January onwards. The course over which the race is run features much larger fences than those found on conventional National Hunt tracks. Many of these, particularly Becher's Brook, The Chair and the Canal Turn, combined with the distance of the event, create what has been called "the ultimate test of horse and rider". As a result, trying to pick a horse for the race is notoriously difficult.
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