Get Ready For The Grand National 2017

Millions of armchair jockeys are expected to tune in to this year’s Aintree Grand National, one of the most exciting horse races on the calendar.

Live TV coverage will be piped to more than 600 million homes worldwide and an estimated one in four of UK households will take a rest from the worries of Brexit to have a small flutter.

The race is one of the biggest betting events in the UK.

The race is famed for having an unpredictable outcome, with the field tackling several circuits of the famous course and flying over some formidable jumps, such as Becher’s Brook and The Chair.

The race is about courage and endurance. The horses must run four miles.

The attraction is the winner is just as likely to come from one of the outsiders as the favourites.

Odds and favourites

A crowd of around 70,000 will cheer on the runners and riders at the famous race course.

The Grand National starts at 5.15 pm (UK time) on April 8.

In advance of the race, 45 runners are declared, although several are likely to drop out before the start as the organisers only allow a field of 40 with four reserves.

The early favourites are Vieux Lion Rouge (10-1); Definitely Red (12-1); Blak Lion, One For Arthur, The Last Samuri and Cause of Causes (All 14-1).

Tom Scudamore is expected to ride Vieux Lion Rouge, with David Bass taking the reins of The Last Samuri.

Vieux Lion Rouge has had 11 wins and beat fellow favourite Blak Lion at Haydock Park earlier this year.

Grand National legends

Last year, 39 runners started but only 16 finished. The winner was Rule The World, ridden by David Mullins, which came in at 33-1.

Last Samuri, which also runs this year was second, losing by two lengths.

The Grand National is the headline race of a three-day festival, starting with a grand opening, followed by Ladies Day and then Grand National Day.

The first race was run in 1839. The legendary Red Rum is among the most famous winners for coming home first three times – in 1973, 1974 and 1977.

Jockey Bob Champion also made a miraculous recovery from cancer to ride Aldaniti home to win in 1981.