There are few events each year that seem to stand out from others as being of national importance, so it’s probably appropriate that one of them is called ‘The Grand National’. In the 179 years since it was first run, it has entered the British consciousness as ‘the’ horse race.
It’s the stuff of legends
Older people will grow dewy eyed at the mention of the word Foinavon, the 100/1 no-hoper that picked its way through the melee caused at the 23rd fence, now named after him, to win. Much older eyes might mist at the thought of Tipperay Tim, in 1928, and also at 100/1, as the only horse of 42 to complete the course without having to be remounted; only one other horse actually even finished. Amazingly, Gregalach won at the same odds the following year.
Locally trained Red Rum, and no other, has won it three times; and Devon Lock collapsed just short of the line. Bob Champion recovered from cancer to win on Aldaniti and inspire a film starring John Hurt. Then in 1993, the ‘race that never was’ after a false start failed to be observed by many of the jockeys. Finally in 1997, the race was postponed on the Saturday after bomb threats, and then finally took place on the Monday.
The betting public
The above demonstrate how each race has its drama, not all as major as the above; there are so many stories of owners, trainers, jockeys, wagers and more. It’s accepted that grandmothers who would never even be seen in the same street as a betting shop will find ways to place a bet on the horse that has tickled their fancy, often for the most obscure of name or jockey colours. It is reckoned that one in four Brits will place a bet, a third spending a fiver or more, meaning stakes totalling well over £150 million are wagered on that single race. Interestingly, no horse has ever won at odds better than 11/4.
A worldwide audience
Although it’s an event palpably British, perhaps partly because of this, the Grand National, first televised live in 1960, draws a huge worldwide audience, now estimated to be in excess of 600 million. These eyes follow the horses over Becher’s Brook, The Chair, Canal Turn, and so many other iconic fences, all topped with spruce grown in the Lake District, in more than 140 countries.
The Sport of Kings?
A name often given to horse racing and its heritage. Some events, such as the Royal Ascot, do tend to live up to that billing. Not the National. It is an event for everyone, from all walks of life, with around 150,000 heading to Aintree across the three days of the Grand National meeting. This is what makes attending, whether in the grandstands, betting ring, enclosures or on the rails track-side, such a vibrant and unforgettable experience for Brits.
How Belgravia Chauffeurs enhances this unforgettable sporting experience
With the superb cars and chauffeur service for events and festivals, you will not be surprised that this includes the Grand National. The superb chauffeur service for this festival of racing even includes a special offer for multiple bookings, so book today and save.
Whether as a treat for yourself, family or special loved ones, or as an impressive example of your esteem for key clients, being chauffeured to such events adds so much to an already exciting and unforgettable experience. It’s also so much smoother than the 4 miles 514 yards that the jockeys travel!
About Author: Thu Ha Larkin is a fashion & travel blogger who writes for different blogs and websites. She is now working at Belgravia Chauffeurs as a Digital Marketing Specialist. She spends most of her weekends to visit different places around the world and the UK to enrich her life and travel experience.
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