Grand National Beginner's Guide

In-depth FAQ including how to get tickets, getting to Aintree Racecourse, and the dress code for Ladies Day

What is the Grand National?

The Grand National - also known as the Grand National Steeplchase - is the world’s most famous horse race, watched by an estimated 600 million people worldwide, which takes place at Aintree every year in April.

What month is the Grand National?

The Grand National always takes place in April.

What date is the Grand National?

The next Grand National will take place on Saturday 9th April 2022.

What time is the Grand National?

The 2022 Grand National starts at 5.15pm (17:15 GMT) and will usually finish around 10 minutes later, at 5.25pm (17:25 GMT).

What day is the Grand National?

Unless the meeting is postponed for any reason, the Grand National is always run on a Saturday, though the time of the race has changed slightly over the years. The 1997 Grand National, the 150th official running of the race, was postponed by two days to Monday 7 April after a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the course.

Where can I watch the Grand National?

The Grand National is on ITV who have the terrestrial television rights for the race, having signed a four-year deal to become the exclusive terrestrial broadcast partner for British racing from 2018. Subscribers to Racing TV will also be able to watch the Grand National

If you sign up with one of our partners and place a bet on the Grand National in the day of race market, you may be able to watch a live stream of the race on their website or mobile app. T&Cs apply.

Where does the Grand National take place?

The Grand National always takes places at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. The address for Aintree Racecourse is: Aintree Racecourse, Ormskirk Rd, Liverpool, Merseyside, L9 5AS.

How do I get to Aintree?

By train: the nearest mainline station to Aintree is Liverpool Lime Street. Liverpool Central Station is just a short walk from Lime Street, where you can catch a train to Aintree. Aintree Station is directly opposite the racecourse, where regular trains run during the Grand National meeting.

Grand National National Rail Planner

By car: Aintree Racecourse is located on the A59, just one mile from the M57 and M58, which link the M62 and M6. Follow the A59 to Liverpool and the AA/tourism signs as you approach the racecourse for routes to the car parks.

Grand National AA Route Planner

The address for Aintree Racecourse is:

Aintree Racecourse,
Ormskirk Rd
L9 5AS

Where to stay for the Grand National?

Aintree is just five miles from Liverpool and the bustling city, named a European Capital of Culture in 2008, has a wide range of hotels to suit every budget.

Looking for somewhere to stay for the Grand National? Want the best deal on a hotel? Check out our list of top hotels and book today.

How do I get tickets for the Grand National?

Tickets for the Aintree Grand National Festival can be ordered online from the Aintree Racecourse website or the Randox Health Grand National website, or you can order by phone - 0344 579 3001

How many days is the Grand National?

The Grand National meeting takes place over three days. The Thursday is Grand Opening Day, Friday is Ladies Day, while Grand National Day takes place on Saturday.

How many races on Grand National day?

There are seven races on Grand National Day, with the Grand National the sixth race on the card, due off at 5.15pm. The card includes three Grade 1 races: the Mersery Novices' Hurdle, the Maghull Novices' Chase, and the Liverpool Hurdle.

When is Aintree Ladies Day?

The 2022 Grand National is the feature race of Aintree’s Grand National Festival and takes place on the final afternoon of the three-day meeting. The racing begins on Thursday – otherwise known as Grand Opening Day – while Friday is Ladies Day.

What do I wear to Aintree Grand National?

Although there is no official dress code, smart is preferable. Aintree is a spectacle of colour especially on Ladies Day, with many using their trip as an opportunity to showcase their favourite raceday outfits. Hats are optional too, but are frequently worn, however sports clothes and fancy dresses are not permitted for the Grand National meeting.

How old is the Grand National?

The first Grand National was run in 1839, making it 183 years old in 2022. The very first race was won by the well-named Lottery.

How many Grand Nationals have there been?

The Grand National was first run in 1839. The 2021 renewal was the 173rd running of the race, as there have been several years when the race has not been run, including during World War II.

How far is the Grand National?

Until recently the Grand National was run over four and a half miles, however the race is now run over just longer than four and a quarter miles after the distance to the first fence was reduced in a bid to improve safety.

How long does the Grand National last?

The Grand National generally lasts between 9 and 11 minutes, with the length of time it takes to be run depending on the ground conditions. The fastest ever time is 8 minutes 47.8 seconds recorded by Mr Frisk in 1990. The slowest time is 14m 53s, recorded by Lottery who won the first Grand National in 1839.

How many fences are jumped in the Grand National?

There are 16 jumps on the unique Grand National Course, however thirty fences are jumped in total as the field completes two laps of the track (missing out The Chair and the Water Jump on the second circuit). Find out more on our The Course page.

How many runners are in the Grand National?

The maximum number of runners is 40, however the smallest field was in 1883 when just 10 faced the starter, and the largest was in 1929 when 66 horses lined up.

How much does the winner of the Grand National get?

The first prize for the most recent Grand National was £500,000. Most of this will go to the owners of the Grand National winner, while a percentage of the winnings will go to the trainer of the horse and the winning jockey. The total Grand National prize money is £1 million.

How much is a Grand National horse worth?

Having a runner in the Grand National is priceless! Owners love to win the race, especially Aintree supremo Trevor Hemmings who has won the race three times - with Hedgehunter in 2005, Ballabriggs in 2011 and Many Clouds in 2015. He often buys one or two horses in the build up to the race every year, often paying hundreds and thousands of pounds. The winner of the Grand National receives £500,000.

How much does the jockey get for winning the Grand National?

As with all races, as well as a riding fee of around £170, jockeys receive a percentage of any prize money that is won. That figure generally ranges from 8.5 to 9 per cent of winning prize-money over jumps, meaning the Grand National winning jockey could receive as much as £45,000.

How to pick the winner of the Grand National?

Everyone has a chance of betting on the winner of the Grand National and almost half of those who bet on the Grand National will choose their horse by its name. Make sure you keep a close eye on our Tips page for expert advice and our Grand National predictor, or head over to our Runners page for the verdict on the major contenders!

How do I place a bet on the Grand National?

If you are at the racecourse, you can bet on the Tote, with the on-course bookmakers (bookies) or in the betting shops. With the tote, you're not betting against a bookie; your stake goes into a pool, and like the lottery, your win depends on how many other winning tickets there are.

The on-course bookmakers are all different and it's worth shopping around for the best odds on each race. You can usually find them in front of the grandstand or by the rails.

There are also standard betting shops at various locations in the grounds. They'll accept bets on the races and on any other events.

Placing your Grand National bets online via a desktop site or mobile app? Make sure you visit our Free Bets page to take advantage of the best sign-up offers from our betting partners or download the Timeform App and place your bets.

What types of bet can I do on the Grand National?

The two main types of bet are win-only and each-way. For win-only, your horse needs to win the race outright.

An each-way bet is effectively two bets – one for your horse to win and one for it to be placed (usually 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th though usually many bookmakers will pay out for 5th in the Grand National). So a £5 each-way bet will cost £10.

How much is bet on the Grand National?

Following the switch from Channel 4 to ITV1, it was estimated by bookmakers that as much as £300 million was bet on the Grand National, which is the biggest betting event of the year in the UK.

How do I get a free bet on the Grand National?

Visit our Free Bets page for the latest offers.

How much did I win on the Grand National?

It's easy to work out how much you have won on the Grand National using our Grand National Odds Calculator. There you can select what type of bet you placed - win or each-way - and enter the odds to work out what your return will be. Remember, there is a difference between fractional and decimal odds. For example, if you place a £1 bet on a horse with odds of 4.00, you will get a return of £4. But if you place a £1 bet on a horse with odds of 4/1, you will get a return of £5, because your initial £1 stake is refunded.

What horse is favourite to win the Grand National?

The favourite to win the Grand National changes throughout the course of the year, mainly due to performances at other racetracks. The ante-post market is available all year round, but tends to take more shape once the list of Grand National entries is published in late-January. Major races that may affect the betting include the Becher Chase at Aintree in December, the Grand National Trial at Haydock in February, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

What time does betting close for the Grand National?

Betting closes for the Grand National when the tapes go up at 5.15pm (17:15 GMT). You can bet a long way in advance or in the minutes just before the race, though the odds for Grand National horses often shorten just before the race begins.

Where to bet on the Grand National?

You can bet with a bookmaker on the high street, with on-course bookmakers at the track if you are a the races, or with online bookmakers. If you sign up with one of our partners and place a bet on the Grand National in the day of race market, you may be rewarded with a bonus for opening a new account. T&Cs apply.

Who won the 2019 Grand National?

The 2019 Grand National was won by Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Davy Russell. Tiger Roll was winning the race for the second successive year, becoming the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to achieve such a feat. While it was the trainer's third win in the race after 2007 winner Silver Birch, it was the jockey's second victory in the historic contest. Magic of Light was second, Rathvinden third, and Walk In The Mill fourth. Anibale Fly was fifth, a year after finishing fourth in the 2018 renewal. For a comprehensive guide to previous winners of the Grand National, check out our Past Grand National Winners page.

Who won the 2020 Grand National?

Due to the coronavirus the Grand National was cancelled in 2020. Instead, a virtual version was run on the same day and was ‘won’ by Potters Corner. The profits from the race raised over £2 million for NHS charities.

Who won the 2021 Grand National?

The 2021 Grand National was won by Minella Times, trained by Henry de Bromhead and ridden by Rachel Blackmore. Balko Des Flos was second, Any Second Now was third, Burrows Saint was fourth and Farclas was fifth.

What horses finished the Grand National?

Fifteen horses finished the 2021 Grand National, led by Minella Times. You can get the full result here.

Who came last in the Grand National?

Who came last in the Grand National is a tricky question, because lots of horses stop before they finish the course. The first horse to depart in the 2021 renewal was Yala Enki who lost its jockey.

What’s the Going at Aintree?

The ‘Going’ is an important consideration when looking for the winner of the Grand National. The official description of the ground conditions for the Grand National at Aintree can be found on the BHA website.

Latest Going Report