A small number of tickets are still available the 2019 Grand National. However, the majority of these tickets are located in the more expensive enclosures.
Runners & Riders
The horses listed here are NOT YET guaranteed a place in the Randox Health Grand National 2019. The full race line-up will not be finalised until the day before the Grand National. Non-Runner, No Bet rules apply with Betfred.
Odds listed on this page are taken from Betfred on 19/02/2019. Check the odds with your Bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur. Full Terms and Conditions for the promotional bet offers can be found on the respective websites – please read them before signing up.
Grand National Race Information
When Is The Grand National?
The 2019 Grand National will be held at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 6th and the race starts at 5.15pm.
Sponsored by Randox Health, the world’s most famous horse race will be run over 4 miles 514 yards, with the runners jumping 30 fences over two laps. An estimated 600 million fans will tune in to watch it, and if you are in the UK it will be televised live on ITV.
What Horses Are Running?
It’s a fascinating race and most people research which horses are running in the Grand National. The field is made up of a maximum of 40 runners, although last year there were only 38 as two horses dropped out on the day of the race. Those 40 runners come from a much larger list of entries. This year 112 potential runners got entered. The final line-up for the Grand National 2019 will not be known until the day before the race.
Grand National Weights
Those horses are then given weights by the BHA Handicapper. It is his job to look at each entry and work out who he thinks has the best chance of winning. That is usually based on each horse’s Official Rating. The higher the rating, the better the horse and the greater the chance of winning the 2019 Grand National. The Handicapper then allocates a weight to each horse starting at 11-10, which the maximum a Grand National runner can carry.
Once every horse has a weight they are then put in order from highest to lowest. This also determines the number that they will wear on the day. So the top weight horse will carry 11-10 and be number one, the next highest weighted horse will be number two and so on.
That gives the initial 40 horses who could potentially line up for the 2019 Grand National.
What then follows is a number of set date dates that trainers can withdraw their horses from contention without penalty. As each horse gets removed the one below it moves up the list, taking its place. As many as 30 of the original 40 on the list can get withdrawn but eventually, by race day there are 40 Grand National Runners – hopefully!
And of course, 40 horses need 40 jockeys. They won’t be announced until much closer to the race. Jockeys are often employed by trainers will know the horses very well.
A race like the Grand National also gives jockeys time to prepare and run out on the gallops and over practice fences ahead of the race.
The Famous Fences
And they certainly need the practice as the fences at Aintree are notoriously difficult. There are 16 different obstacles that need to be tackled. All fences will be jumped on the first lap of the race. On the second lap, the last two are bypassed and the horses will instead make the long run-in to the finish line.
Famous Grand National fences include Becher’s Brook, which is fence number 6 (and 22 on the second lap). It is five feet high and the difficulty lies in the fact that the land side is lower than the take-off side.
Foinavon is fence number 7 & 23 and is one of the smallest fences on the course. It was named after the 1967 winner who won the race despite being a 100/1 long shot.
The Chair, which is fence number 15, is one of the most difficult on the course. That is because the jump must take in the 6ft wide ditch that is immediately in front of it.
The fences used in the Grand National underwent significant changes a few years ago. The wooden posts that traditionally made up the framed were replaced with a more flexible plastic birch that is more forgiving if the horse knocks into it. Spruce is then piled on top. Visually there is no difference to the fences, they have just been made safer on the inside.
While the Grand National is difficult, equine safety is paramount and the improvement in the fences has made a tremendous difference to the race. As a result, there have been fewer injuries to both horse and rider. But that still doesn’t guarantee that all horses will finish the race.
Only 12 of the 38 runners finished last year. Of the remaining 26, two of them were brought down, six fell, five unseated their rider and 13 were pulled up by their jockey.
Who To Bet On?
So with only about a third of the field making it home in the Grand National, how do you know what to bet on? Grand National odds vary hugely from horse to horse and trying to pick a winner is not easy.
Some opt for a horse because of its name. Others like the jockey. Some will go on the colour of the silks that the jockey wears and some study the form.
Form takes in the weight of the horse, his age, how well he has been running etc…
To make it simple for you, try to narrow down your selection by looking at horses that are going to carry 11-00 or less. Ideally, they should be 9, 10 or 11 years of age and favourites don’t win enough so look for horses with odds between 14/1 and 33/1.
And if you want to dig a little deeper make sure your horse has run at least three times this season and give extra marks to those who have won or placed in races of 3m or more.
What Can You Win?
If you successfully pick the winner then good for you! You will want to know how much you have won. In it’s simplest terms, if you backed the winner, then you multiply the amount you bet by the large number in the odds. So if you put £5 on a horse at 20/1 and he won, you multiply 5 x 20 and you get £100 (plus your £5 stake back).
If you bet online then your winnings will be in your account shortly after the race ends. But give your bookmaker a little bit of time. Sorting out millions of bets takes a bit longer than normal!
Going To The National – What To Wear
While there is no formal dress code at Aintree, the Grand National is quite a prestigious race so you should dress appropriately. It is usual for men to wear suits and for women to look chic and, while not compulsory, many women opt to wear hats or hairpieces.
Famous quotes about the Grand National and horse racing.