While there’s certainly no shortage of excitement over the Grand National’s long history, here are two of our absolute favourites
The Grand National boasts a long and prosperous history with the inaugural race run in 1839. It’s prominent in British culture and even famous among those outside of racing’s fan club.
The Grand National is a great hit among punters, who enjoy many betting opportunities through the racing event. They start their preparations long before the actual race and get plenty of lucrative betting offers from some of the top bookmakers here.
The Grand National is one of the toughest races in the world, with horses jumping 30 fences and covering a gruelling distance of about four miles and two-and-a-half furlongs. In such a difficult competition, only the finest horses will thrive.
However, the 1967 edition of the Grand National proved to be the complete opposite. The Cyril Watkins-owned Foinavon started the race at odds of 100/1 and didn’t look to have even the most remote chance of victory at Aintree. The Irish racehorse’s prospects looked so dismal that even his owner and trainer weren’t present at the racecourse.
However, what happened next shocked all the spectators and entered Foinavon’s name in history books. At the 23rd fence a riderless horse veered to his right and caused a melee, opening a big opportunity for Foinavon.
While the others fell, refused or were hampered in the chaos, the Irish racehorse managed to find a gap and continued racing. Soon he established an insurmountable lead and easily went on to claim a memorable victory. That fence is now officially named after Foinavon.
Devon Loch (1956)
Devon Loch became incredibly famous in the history of Grand National, although not because of his victory, but because he came very close to win the prestigious race and then lost. He was owned by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and his chances looked promising for the National Hunt horse race in 1956.
Devon Loch competed well in the race and went on to the front with three jumps remaining. On the final stretch, he had a commanding lead and his victory looked inevitable. However, to the shock and dismay of jockey Dick Francis, Devon Loch bellyflopped to the ground just a few yards from the winning post. This allowed E.S.B to carry on and win the race. Following this dramatic defeat, the Queen Mother famously said: “Oh, that’s racing.”