As most of us are aware, the Randox Health Grand national offers a staggering £1,000,000 prize fund and those lucky enough to win or finish up to tenth place get a slice of the pie.
In 2018, changes to the distribution of the prize fund mean that, while the pot stayed the same at a million pounds, horses finishing from fourth to 10th spot got an increase in their winnings.
The Grand National 2022 will be, by far the richest Jumps contest staged outside of Japan. The first three horses home will still receive 80% of the total prize fund. But for those finishing out of the first three, their increases range between £12,300 for fourth place to £4,000 for the tenth spot, compared to 2017.
What that means in real terms is that the winner takes home £500,000. Second place gets £200,000, and third place earns £100,000.
If a horse finishes in fourth place the money is £65K as opposed to the historical £52,700 won in 2017. The fifth-place finisher will get £40,000 and sixth place earns £30K.
The seventh-placed runner takes home £20,000, the eighth £15,000, with the ninth place receiving £10,000 and the prize for tenth at £5,000.
It’s easy to understand why the changes were made given that not only is it one of the richest races in the world, it’s also one of the most difficult so to actually get around the course. So in the past, for those that finished in 10th place, coming away with £1000 seemed pretty dire.
At the time, Andrew Tulloch, regional head of racing at Jockey Club Racecourses North West and clerk of the course at Aintree, explained the changes: “It is an achievement for any horse to gain a top-10 placing in the Randox Health Grand National, which is often a culmination of months and even years of preparation.
“In light of this, Aintree has decided it is appropriate that the prize money for horses finishing between fourth and tenth should be increased to reflect this.
“Connections of the winner of the Randox Health Grand National will still receive half a million pounds in prize money, maintaining the race’s position as by far the most valuable in the Jump calendar.”
It was a well-received move National Hunt circles, and Charlie Liverton, chief executive of the Racehorse Owners Association, added: “Having a runner in the Randox Health Grand National is a dream for many racehorse owners and the change to the prize money distribution model means it is good news for those horsemen filling the top 10 places.
With the distribution of prize money more equitable, there was an assumption that the number of entries would increase as a result. However, that did not happen. In fact, they remained very consistent:
- 2021 – 106
- 2020 – 105 (cancelled)
- 2019 – 112
- 2018 – 105
Changes In 2021
The exception to the prize money rule was in 2021. With racing held behind closed doors and a complete lack of ticket sales, hosting the Grand National was a feat in itself.
As a result, the prize money was reduced across the board, not just for the National. In total £738,750 was up for grabs. It was distributed as follows:
- 1st – Minella Times – £375,000
- 2nd – Balko Des Flos – £150,000
- 3rd – Any Second Now – £75,000
- 4th – Burrows Saint – £48,750
- 5th – Farclas – £30,000
- 6th – Blaklion – £22,500
- 7th – Discorama – £15,000
- 8th – Jett – £11,250
- 9th – Cabaret Queen – £7,500
- 10th – Shattered Love – £3,750
So overall the fund was reduced by just over 26%. That seems reasonable given the lack of tickets, a portion of which would have gone into the pot. But it is a shame for the jockeys, trainers and yard staff that also lost out because of the reduction.
However, all going well, the 2022 Grand National prize fund should be back up the million mark with all top ten finishers getting the normal amount in winnings.