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The Grand National

 Grand National image

The Grand National field racing away from the crowded Aintree stands


The Grand National is a world-famous National Hunt horse race which is held annually at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England. It is a handicap chase which takes place over a distance of four miles and 856 yards (7,242m), containing thirty fences over two circuits of Aintree's National Course and is held on Saturday afternoons in early April.

It is the most valuable National Hunt event in Britain and offers a total prize purse of £950,000. The Grand National steeplechase is the centrepiece and feature race of a three-day meeting, one of four that are held at Aintree throughout the racing season.

The Grand National is one of the ten British sporting events listed on the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events, ensuring that it is broadcast live annually on free-to-air terrestrial television throughout the United Kingdom. The first radio commentary of the Grand National was broadcast in 1927 on the BBC, by Meyrick Good and George Allison. While the first televised broadcast of the National came in 1960, again by the BBC, who retained the rights until 2012. Each year an estimated 500-600 million viewers tune in to watch the Grand National all across the world.

The racecourse is triangular in shape, and contains sixteen fences, all except 'The Chair' and the Water Jump are jumped twice during the Grand National. Some of the fences and jumps are known for their severity, in particular 'Becher's Brook' and 'The Chair'. Most of the fences are between 4ft and 5ft tall, with most at the higher end of the scale, with many around the 4ft 6in or 7in mark.

The Grand National is the longest National Hunt race in Britain, notably including one of the longest run-ins from the final flight of any steeplechase, at 494 yards. Since its inception, only 13 mares and 2 seperate greys have won the event.

The maximum weight for the Handicap is 11st 10lb and only horses aged Six and up are eligible for qualification. There are numerous records held for the Grand National, most notable perhaps are the following

Leading Horse: Red Rum, for victories in 1973, 1974, 1977 and also second place finishes in 1975 and 1976.
Leading Jockey: George Stevens who has lead four horses to five seperate victories at the Grand National.
Lead Trainer: George Dockeray, Fred Rimell and Ginger McCain have all lead horses to four wins at the National.
Leading Owner: James Machell and Noel Le Mare have picked up three wins each, the latter owned Red Rum, three times champion.


Get free Grand National bets by registering with internet bookmakers to claim the best free bet offers available exclusively to new customers.

Three steps to get free bets for the Grand National

  1. Select your free bet offer(s); check the main terms and conditions for restrictions for qualifying for free bets and using free bets, then select the free bet offer(s) that best suit your needs. Best Free Bets has a list of free bet offers with all the main terms detailed.
  2. Sign up with an online bookmaker; Best Free Bets has reviewed the best online bookmakers who will all provide free bets to new customers, the bookmakers are recommended because they are trustworthy and reputable, just follow the links to bookmaker’s website and register your details.
  3. Deposit some funds and place a bet; in most instances deposit and bet as little as £5 to qualify for a free bet matching your first bet stake up to the maximum offered by the bookmaker.

Online bookmakers will normally credit the free bet to your account within 24-48 hours of meeting the qualifying requirements, which usually entails making a deposit and/or placing a bet.


Normally, using your free bet is simply a matter of making your selection and indicating on the bet slip that you wish to use your free bet. Some bookmakers’ methods vary slightly, however their websites contain instructions on how to redeem your free bet.

There will be restrictions placed on the use of free bets which vary between bookmakers and is advisable to make yourself familiar with those restrictions before signing up.

The six most important facts about redeeming free bets on The Grand National

  1. Free bet stakes will not be included in returns
  2. Minimum Odds; expect the bookmaker to insist your free bet is placed on a selection with a minimum price, typically 1/5 (1.20) to evens (2.00)
  3. Bet Type restrictions; you may not be allowed to use your free bet for types of bets, however Singles are universally allowed and Accumulators are allowed by most bookmakers.
  4. Product restrictions; you won’t be able to invest free bets in Tote Pools and in many instances will be confined to using the free bets in the sportsbook rather than Casino, Poker and other gaming products.
  5. Rollover requirements; some online bookmakers insist customers bet their deposit and/or stake a number of times before making a withdrawal.
  6. Free Bet Expiry; if unused, the free bets will expire after a period of time, normally 7 to 30 days.


2012 Grand National Runners & Riders

NO. Horse Form Jockey Trainer
1 Synchronised P7311 AP McCoy Jonjo O’Neill
2 Ballabriggs 1121-4 J Maguire Donald McCain
3 Weird Al 8P-13P T Murphy Donald McCain
4 Neptune Collonges 6-P422 D Jacob Dessie Hughes
5 Calgary Bay F-8511 D Elsworth Henrietta Knight
6 Alfa Beat 6741UP TBC John Hanlon
7 Planet Of Sound 35-23 R Johnson Philip Hobbs
8 Black Apalachi U022/2 D O’Regan DT Hughes
9 Deep Purple U34-1F J Moore Evan Williams
10 Junior 321-82 T Scudamore David Pipe
11 Chicago Grey U3732 TBC Gordon Elliott
12 Tatenen 70-715 A Thornton Richard Rowe
13 Seabass 11111 Ms K Walsh TM Walsh
14 Shakalakaboomboom 7-1122 B Geraghty Nicky Henderson
15 West End Rocker 1PB-P1 W Hutchinson Alan King
16 According To Pete 37112 H Haynes Malcolm Jefferson
17 On His Own 4P1-B1 R Walsh WP Mullins
18 Always Right 13-1PP J Reveley John Wade
19 Cappa Bleu 2P/133 P Moloney Evan Williams
20 Rare Bob 345053 B Cooper DT Hughes
21 Organised Confusion 133F5 Ms N Carberry ALT Moore
22 Treacle 51423 AE Lynch TJ Taaffe
23 The Midnight Club 6-B439 TBC WP Mullins
24 Mon Mome 52PP0 A Coleman Venetia Williams
25 Arbor Supreme P2F-60 TBC Jonjo O’Neill
26 Sunnyhillboy 37P91 R McLernon Jonjo O’Neill
27 Killyglen 030341 RM Power SRB Crawford
28 Quiscover Fontaine F-4910 DJ Casey WP Mullins
29 Tharawaat P13077 TBC Gordon Elliott
30 Becauseicoudntsee 63F22 TBC NF Glynn
31 Le Beau Bai 0P7113 TBC Richard Lee
32 State Of Play 4P3/4- N Fehily Evan Williams
33 Always Waining 84409 T O’Brien Peter Bowen
34 Swing Bill 313P20 C O’Farrell David Pipe
35 Postmaster 26611 TBC Tim Vaughan
36 Giles Cross 22-121 P Brennan Victor Dartnall
37 Midnight Haze 17P-16 S Quinlan Kim Bailey
38 Vic Venturi B-2110 TBC DT Hughes
39 In Compliance 1U0-P3 L Aspell DT Hughes
40 Viking Blond 143P5 TBC Nigel Twiston-Davies
41 Hello Bud 5U654 S Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies
42 Neptune Equester 315045 TBC Brian Ellison
43 Any Currency 2-3P47 AP Cawley Martin Keighley
44 Our Island 292658 TBC Tim Vaughan
45 Abbeybraney P/FP33 R Mania George Bewley
46 Smoking Aces 341064 TBC TJ Taaffe
47 Ballyvesey 28P37 TBC Peter Bowen
48 Saddlers Storm P2422P TBC AJ Martin

The Grand National Betting News & Tips

Grand National Tips: Plan coming together for Synchronised
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised heads the 40-runner field for the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday. Johnjo O’Neill’s ...

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Grand National Tips: Owner bullish about Chicago Grey
Owner John Earls was bullish about the chances of leading Grand National fancy Chicago Grey after Tuesday’s update on ...

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Titan introduce ante post betting with free Grand National bet
Online gaming giant, Titan is offering a free Grand National bet to coincide with the introduction of horse racing ...

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Owner favours Ballabriggs for Grand National
Owner Trevor Hemmings has a strong hand for the Grand National at Aintree next week but looks likely to ...

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Sunnyhillboy set for Grand National says Berry
JP McManus-owned Sunnyhillboy is set to run in the Grand National on April 14 despite rumours that he might ...

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Ballabriggs Odds to win consecutive Grand Nationals
Trainer Donald McCain is following in the footsteps of his father Ginger and preparing Ballabriggs in a bid to ...

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Glynn looks to Grand National with Becauseicouldntsee
Trainer Noel Glynn has set his sights on the Grand National for Becauseicouldntsee after an impressive run in defeat ...

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£10 Completely Free Bet on the Grand National with Sky Bet
Join Sky Bet today to get £10 completely free to bet on any sports betting event including the 2012 ...

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Best Odds Guaranteed at Boylesports
Punters taking the fixed odds on horses and greyhounds at Boylesports won’t lose out if their selections drift in ...

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bet365 Channel 4/1 and Feature Race 4/1 offers £50 risk free bet
Get a risk free bet in addition to your winnings when backing a 4/1 chance or more at bet365. ...

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