The Grand National in numbers ahead of the big race at Aintree

The Grand National is one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar. Credit: PA Images

The Grand National at Aintree is one of the biggest days in the British sporting calendar.

ITV will cover all the action from 2pm on ITV1. The world famous steeplechase gets underway on Saturday at 5:15PM.

Here is a breakdown of all the important facts in the history of the spectacle:

1 – Rachael Blackmore is the only woman to have ridden a Grand National winner – on Minella Times in 2021.

2 – Dual winners of the National are not a complete rarity over the years, with nine horses having won the race twice – most recently Tiger Roll in 2019.

3 – Red Rum is the only horse to have won the race three times, in 1973, 74 and 77.

4 – Ginger McCain, Red Rum’s trainer, was also successful with Amberleigh House in 2004 meaning he shares the record with Fred Rimell and George Dockeray for the most wins in the race at four.

5 – The number of times George Stevens rode the winner of the Grand National – Free Trader (1856), Emblem (1863), Emblematic (1864) and The Colonel (1869 and 1870) – the most of any jockey.

The Grand National has been held every year since 1839. Credit: PA Images

6 – 6-1 was the SP of 1920 winner Troytown, who has a handicap chase named after him at Navan.

7 – The minimum age of a horse allowed to run in the National is seven.

8 – Jonjo O’Neill trained 2010 winner Don’t Push It, but had eight rides in the race and never completed the course.

9 – Most common age of the winner. 46 of 174 runnings (with a winning age recorded).

10 – In 2010 the 10-year-old Don’t Push It won as the 10-1 joint-favourite

Red Rum is the most successful horse, winning the Grand National three times. Credit: PA Images

11 – Gordon Elliott saddled 11 runners in 2019.

12 – Peter Scudamore, champion jockey eight times, had 12 rides in the race without winning.

13 – Total number of mares to win the race. Charity (1841), Miss Mowbray (1852), Anatis (1860), Jealousy (1861), Emblem (1863), Emblematic (1864), Casse Tete (1872), Empress (1880), Zoedone (1883), Frigate (1889), Shannon Lass (1902), Sheila’s Cottage (1948) and Nickel Coin (1951).

14 – Hedgehunter won by 14 lengths in 2005 to give Willie Mullins his first win in the race and Ruby Walsh his second.

The event attracts around 150,000 in-person spectators to Aintree. Credit: PA Images

15 – It took Sir Anthony McCoy 15 attempts before finally winning the National on Don’t Push It.

16 – Manifesto, who ran in the race eight times, winning twice, made his final appearance at the age of 16 in 1904.

17 – Bruce Hobbs is the youngest jockey to win the National on Battleship in 1938.

18 – In 2018 Tiger Roll won the first of his two Grand Nationals. The Covid-19 pandemic denied him the chance to win a third.

19 – In 1919 the shortest-priced winner of the race Poethlyn (11-4) won.

20 – Tom Scudamore rode in the race 20 times before his recent retirement and was never placed.

Some protestors are planning disruption at Aintree before the start of the race. Credit: PA Images

21 – Champion jockey Richard Johnson had 21 rides in the race without winning. The closest he came was What’s Up Boys (2002) and Balthazar King (2014) who were both second.

22 – In 2022 amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen announced his ride on Noble Yeats would be the last of his career, and promptly went and won it.

23 – The largest number to complete the course in 1984 when Hello Dandy won

24 – Bobbyjo became the first Irish winner for 24 years when providing father and son Tommy and Paul Carberry with a famous success.

25 – Rubstic, the first of only two Grand National winners trained in Scotland in 1979 was returned at 25-1. One For Arthur (Lucinda Russell) is the other.

In 2021, Rachael Blackmore, riding Minella Times, became the first female jockey to win the Grand National. Credit: PA Images

26 – In 1926 Jack Horner won, ridden by Tasmanian-born William (Billy) Watkinson. Sadly Watkinson died in a fall at Bogside just three weeks later.

27 – The first radio commentary was on the BBC in 1927, the race was won by Sprig.

28 – In 1928 the smallest number of finishers completed the course when just two came home with Tipperary Tim winning.

Tiger Roll won back to back titles. Credit: PA Images

29 – In 1929 the biggest ever field went to post, 66.

30 – There are 30 fences on the Grand National course.

31 – Philip Hobbs has had 31 runners in the race without a winner.

32 – Tom Rimell won in 1932 with 50-1 chance Forbra. Tom’s son, Fred, went on to train four Grand National winners.

Punters flocked to Aintree on the first Ladies Day since major change in dress code. Credit: PA Images

33 – Carrie Ford was 33 when, in 2005, she finished fifth on Forest Gunner – the highest placing for a female rider at that time.

34 – Golden Miller became the first and so far only horse to win the Gold Cup and Grand National in the same year.

35 – Former actress Mirabel Topham becomes a director of Tophams Ltd and remained in control of Aintree until its sale in 1973.

36 – Reynoldstown, ridden by Fulke Walwyn and trained and owned by Noel Furlong, win the second of his two Grand Nationals in 1936.

Organisers will be hoping for good weather on Saturday. Credit: PA Images

37 – King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Aintree for the first time in the Coronation year of 1937, with Royal Mail an apt winner. Queen Elizabeth would later see her own Devon Loch snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 1956.

38 – In 1838 the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase attracted just three runners. It was one of three unofficial precursors of the official Grand National.

39 – Lottery is classed as the winner of the first Grand National in 1839 for historical purposes. The race was renamed the Grand National in 1847.

40 – The maximum number of runners in the Grand National.

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