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banner Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Aintree trivia
Red Rum - the only winner of three Nationals
Red Rum - the only winner of three Nationals
The course

  • The race is 4.5 miles long, two circuits of the left-handed track.

  • The horses face 30 fences, all but two of which (Chair and water) are jumped twice.

  • The tallest fence is The Chair at 5ft 2in.

  • Aintree fences are unusual in that the landing side is usually lower than take-off. The biggest disparity used to be on the inside at Becher's but this, and other fences, have been made safer in recent years by levelling off the ground.

  • After the final fence, the horses face a 494-yard run-in with a kink - The Elbow - half way along.

  • The record time is held by 1990 winner Mr Frisk at 8min 47.8sec.

  • The greatest number of finishers was 23 in 1984; fewest was two in 1928.

    The horses

  • The race is limited to a maximum of 40 runners.

  • Outsider Choisty "won" a virtual Grand National 2000 run by bookmaker Victor Chandler on 29 March, beating Dark Stranger, Micko's Dream and Star Traveller. He remained a 50-1 chance despite his "victory".

  • Last year's winner, Bobbyjo, goes again but has 11st 6lbs rather than the minimum 10st he carried 1999.

  • No horse has won consecutive Grand Nationals since the great Red Rum in 1973 and 1974. He also won in 1977 and came second in 1975 and 1976.

  • The record number of appearances is eight, by Manifesto between 1895 and 1904. The horse won in 1897 and 1899, and was third in 1900, 1902 and 1903. His final appearance was at the advanced age of 16, when he completed the course in eighth.

  • Other multiple winners are Abd-El-Kadr (1850-51), Peter Simple (1849, 1853), The Colonel (1869-70), The Lamb (1868, 1871) and Reynoldstown (1935-36).

  • The winner of the first Grand National, held in 1839, was the 5/1 favourite Lottery, ridden by Jem Mason.

  • The award for the unluckiest horse goes to Devon Loch, who seemed to try to jump a non-existent fence and fell 50 yards from the finish when clear in 1956. Davy Jones was leading at the final fence in 1936 when a broken buckle on his reins caused him to run out.

  • ESB and Reynoldstown were the respective benficiaries of the above mishaps, but the luckiest winner overall must have been Foinavon, a 100-1 shot who was the only horse to negotiate a mass pile-up at the 23rd fence (which now bears his name) and came out with a lead of 100 yards. He hung on to win by 15 lengths.

  • Only two greys have won the National, The Lamb in 1868 and 1871, and Nicolaus Silver in 1961.

    The people

  • The leading jockey in the National's early years was Tom Olliver who won in 1842 (Gay Lad), 1843 (Vanguard) and 1853 (Peter Simple). He also finished second three times and third once.

  • Olliver's feat was bettered by his protege, George Stevens, on Freetrader (1856), the sisters Emblem (1863) and Emblematic (1864), and The Colonel (1869 and 1870) for an unrivalled five victories.

  • In modern times, the most successful jockey has been Brian Fletcher, who won in 1968 on Red Alligator, then in 1973 and 1974 on Red Rum.

  • Fred Winter is one of the jockeys to have recorded two victories, in 1957 (Sundew) and 1962 (Kilmore). He is unique, however, in that he also trained two winners - Jay Trump in 1965 and Anglo a year later.

  • Among trainers in the modern era, Fred Rimell holds sway with four wins - ESB in 1956, Nicolaus Silver in 1961, Gay Trip in 1970 and Rag Trade in 1976. Triple-winning trainers include Vincent O'Brien, Tim Forster, Neville Crump and Ginger McCain.

  • One racing family with a strong connection to the modern National is the Pitman family. Jenny trained winners Corbiere (1983) and Royal Athlete (1995), and also Esha Ness, "winner" of the void 1993 race. Son Mark rode her Garrison Savanah into second in 1991, and her then husband, Richard, was caught close home on Crisp by Red Rum in 1973.

  • Keith Brown and Ken Evans are on no National roll of honour. They were the starter and recall official in 1993, when a false start was not called back. Part of the field continued, part did not. The race was void.

  • Winning a National is always an emotional moment, but one always singled out is the 1981 victory of Aldaniti, ridden by Bob Champion who had recovered from cancer after a long and debilitating course of chemotherapy.

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