Grand National Organisers Hoping 2022 Will Be One for the Ages

Written by JR Hartley
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April 2022 will see the return of the Grand National, one of the most prestigious events of the British sporting calendar. There are four days of racing, including up to seven races on each day, with the namesake race happening on the final day.

The event is covered on multiple platforms, from TV coverage with pre and post-race interviews, to pages like oddschecker where racing fans can find free bets as well as tips and analysis. The event’s organisers will hope that this year’s event is a successful one, with landmark moments to match some of the most memorable past editions. The Grand National has an illustrious history in British culture with highlights from both on and off the track solidifying the event’s place in the hearts of the nation. Here are some of the most memorable events from past Grand Nationals to get you in the mood for this year’s edition.

The First Official Grand National

Although a similar event was held in each of the three previous years, the 1839 Grand Liverpool Steeplechase is officially recognised as the inaugural Grand national. The format of those first three races was very similar, but they lacked the organisation that has come to epitomise the event, also the arrival of a main railway line in Liverpool in 1839 helped give the race its “national” appeal. The landmark race was won by Lottery, a 9-year-old brown-bay ridden by Jem Mason, defeating a field of 16 other runners. Although he never managed to win another Grand National, partly due to the weight burdens added in 1941, his performance captivated the Victorian crowd, ensuring he will be remembered forever.

Red Rum - The Three-Time Winner

In the 1977 Grand National, Red Rum made history as the first horse to ever win three Grand Nationals. His previous wins came in 1973 and 1974, with jockey Brian Fletcher, who also rode him to second place in 1975. He was replaced by Tommy Stack in 1976 and came second again that year, before completing the historic treble the following year. Although his 1973 win was arguably more impressive, as he came back from at least 30 lengths behind Australian chaser Crisp, his 1977 win is most fondly remembered as the moment that cemented his legacy. horse racing 2

First-Ever Female-Trained Horse Win

1983 was also a standout year for the Grand National as Corbiere became the first-ever Grand National winner to be trained by a woman, Jenny Pitman, who later went on to train the 1995 winner Royal Athlete. He started the race as a 13/1 outsider, but raced to glory alongside jockey Ben De Haan, beating a strong field that included the previous year’s winner, Grittar. It was an extremely close race, with Corbiere beating 40 other competitors, of which only 10 were able to finish the race. Unfortunately, he was unable to repeat the feat at later Grand Nationals, he only managed to finish as high as third in his four subsequent entries, but he’ll always be remembered for making history in 1983.

Champion and Aldaniti Win Against All Odds

1981 Grand National winner Bob Champion became a national hero after overcoming a testicular cancer diagnosis two years earlier to take the victory. If this wasn’t remarkable enough, he achieved this feat on Aldaniti who suffered a career-threatening leg injury in 1979 which kept him out of action for over a year. Their win was one of the feel-good moments of the year and earned them the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Team Award.

Rachael Blackmore Makes History

After the 2020 edition was cancelled, there was a lot of pressure on competitors and organisers alike to make sure the return of the Grand National in 2021 was worth the wait. Rachael Blackmore certainly did that as she made history becoming the first female jockey to win the race. She had already won at Cheltenham in the Champion Hurdle but her Grand National win was one of the moments of the year, even though there were no fans there to witness it.

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Read 671 times Last modified on Thursday, 17 February 2022 12:46
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JR Hartley

JR Hartley

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