The historic Grand National is one of the most hotly anticipated race days of the year and 2024 will be no different. It is also one of the biggest betting events on the sporting calendar.

In fact, the Grand National is one of the biggest races in the world, with an estimated £250 million bet on it.

But how much do you know about the big day? There’s always room for more fun facts, right?

Keep reading for 10 facts about the Grand National you might not already know…

1. Growing Audience

It’s estimated the legendary race generates worldwide audiences of 600 million, and is shown in 140 countries in total.

70,000 fans also make their way to Aintree each year to witness one of the biggest racing events in person.

Over the course of the three days, over 150,000 people will attend the festival.

2. Slowest And Fastest Winner

Did you know the horse with the fastest time was none other than Mr Frisk back in 1990? He completed the course in a staggering 8 minutes and 47.8 seconds.

The closest any horse has come to that winning time since then was Many Clouds in 2015, who won the race in 8m 56.8s.

The slowest winner in Grand National history was the first horse to win in 1839. Lottery won with a whopping 14 minutes and 53 seconds. These days, the race generally lasts around 9 minutes.

3. Oldest And Youngest Winner

Another of our fun facts you may not know is the oldest jockey to win the race. Amateur Dick Saunders won aged 48, riding Grittar.

And the youngest winner of the Grand National? Bruce Hobbs, who was only 17 years old riding Battleship in 1938.

More recently, David Mullins won the race at just 19 years old on Rule The World in 2016. It was also his first attempt at the race.

4. Amateur Winners

You don’t have to be a professional jockey to be a winner, as Mr Bretherton proved. He was the first successful amateur riding Jerry in 1840.

Marcus Armytage, a journalist, also won aboard Mr Frisk in 1990.

Since then, only Sam Waley-Cohen has won as an amateur. Prior to the 2022 National, he already had an enviable record on the course, coming close when placing second on Oscar Time in 2011.

He then went on to win the race with Noble Yeats and with seven wins around the Grand National course, he is the most successful course jockey of the modern era.

He retired after his win on Noble Yeats, ending an incredible career in racing.

5. Double Trouble

The only horse to ever win the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold cup in the same season was Golden Miller in 1934.

Many have tried, but none have been able to match this racing champion.

6. Dual Winner as a War Hero

One of the most remarkable horses in the history of the Grand National is ‘Reynoldstown’, who won the race in consecutive years, 1935 and 1936.

What makes Reynoldstown’s victories even more special is that his owner, Noel Furlong, was also his trainer and jockey.

Furlong was a remarkable individual who also served with distinction in World War II, demonstrating courage both on the racetrack and the battlefield.

7. Most Successful Jockey

The most successful winner in Grand National history was the jockey, George Stevens.

With five wins under his belt – in 1856, 1863, 1864, 1869 and 1870 – it’s a feat that will certainly go down in history.

In the modern era of national hunt racing, Ruby Walsh, Davy Russell and Leighton Aspell have all won it twice.

8. First Female Jockey

The first female jockey to race in the Grand National was Charlotte Brew in 1977, riding Barony Fort with 200-1 odds.

Since then, 19 female jockeys have entered the competition. Katie Walsh became the first female jockey to place in the race, finishing third on Seabass in 2012.

Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win in 2021 onboard Minella Times for owner JP McManus and trainer Henry De Bromhead.

9. The Chair

The most intimidating obstacle at the Grand National is said to be the famous fence, ‘The Chair’.

Standing at 5 feet 3 inches, the jump has a 6-foot-wide ditch on the take-off side, creating a daunting moment for both jockeys and horses.

However, did you know the fence gets its name from its position alongside the seat that was once reserved for the distance judge?

10. The Trifecta Of Fun Facts

Dubbed ‘The greatest trainer of the 20th century’, Vincent O’Brien was the only handler to win the Grand National three years in a row from 1953 to 1955 with three different horses.

From the youngest, quickest and most successful the Grand National brings out the best of the best in the racing world.

The only question now is whether any new records will be set at the 2024 Grand National?

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