By HRI Foreign Staff — The Grand National of the biggest horse racing events in the world and it happens just outside Liverpool, England, every April. 150,000 people in sharp suits and dashing dresses attend Aintree in person, while millions more gather around television screens.
Dreams are made and broken, and fortunes are won and lost, when up to 40 magnificent horses compete for victory. Bookmakers at Aintree will calculate odds and returns at incredible speed while punters at home make their predictions online.
It takes just a few clicks to find this year’s Grand National odds with a reputable online bookmaker. However, odds are just one statistic behind the truth of this great race, and who is most likely to win.
Who are the 2022 Grand National favourites?
- Any Second Now
Third place in 2021 after being hampered during the race, this 10-year-old trained by Ted Walsh is many bookies’ favourite. This horse is carrying more weight in 2022, which may prove a disadvantage, but a strong race is still expected.
- Delta Work
The double Grand National winner Tiger Roll was edged out in the 2022 Glenfarclas Chase at Cheltenham by Delta Work. A nine-year-old stablemate of the 2018 and 2019 winner, big things will be expected of Delta Work at Aintree.
- Escaria Ten
Another stablemate of Tiger Roll and Delta Work, the eight-year-old Escaria Ten is coming into his own over long distances. Narrowly beaten by Any Second Now in February’s Bobby Chase and a third-place finish in Cheltenham; definitely one to watch.
- Enjoy D‘Allen
Finishing 2021 with two strong third places in the Irish National and at Leopardstown, Enjoy D’Allen is coming through well. An eight-year-old Aintree debutant, this Colm Murphy trained horse could come into blossom in 2022’s big event.
- Snow Leopardess
The highest-rated mare in 2022, Snow Leopardess will be looking to become the Grand National’s 14th female winner. An eye-catching grey trained by Charlie Longsdon, this horse is expected to prove very popular amongst punters on the day.
Who were the best ever Grand National horses?
While all the focus on 9th April will be in this year’s race, the Grand National has a proud history. For well over 100 years, horses have competed at Aintree and there have been some amazing victories, stories and stats.
The undisputed champion
Red Rum is one of the most famous horses in the world, and with very good reason. Though several have come close, no other horse has won the Grand National three times.
The average age of a horse in the Grand National is usually between nine and ten years old. The oldest horse ever to win was Peter Simple, in 1853, who triumphed at the grand old age of 15.
Five horses have so far won the national at the age of just five, proving you don’t always need experience. Alcibiade (1865), Regal (1876), Austerlitz (1877), Empress (1880), and Lutteur III (1909) are the Grand National’s youngest champions.
The Grand National is a demanding race and most horses will only run it a few times in their lifetime. For Manifesto, however, Aintree became practically a second home after he ran it eight times, taking victory on two occasions.
In 2019, Tiger Roll became the first horse in 45 years to win the Grand National twice in a row. Other back-to-backers at the famous race have been Abd-El-Kader, The Colonel, Reynoldstown, and – of course – Red Rum.
With its large field, the Grand National is an unpredictable race, and it isn’t always favourites who take victory. Five horses have won at 100-1 odds: Tipperary Tim (1928), Gregalach (1929), Caughoo (1947), Foinavon (1967), and Mon Mome (2009).
As in any sporting event, the Grand National has incredible stories of competitors triumphing in the face of overwhelming adversity. Aldaniti (1981), West Tip (1982), and Earth Summit (1998) all came back from horrific injuries to win at Aintree.
From 170 races, only 13 mares have won, the first being Charity (1841) and the last Nickel Coin (1951). The others are Miss Mowbray, Anatis, Jealousy, Emblem, Emblematic, Casse Tete, Empress, Zoedone, Frigate, Shannon Lass, and Sheila’s Cottage.
On average, it takes around 10-12 minutes for a horse to complete the four-mile course of the Grand National. The fastest ever winner was Mr Frisk (1990) in a time of eight minutes 47.8 seconds.
Not every race is about speed, and the difference between the fastest and slowest National winners is over six minutes. In 1839, Lottery was the first horse to complete the course at a time of 14 minutes and 53 seconds.
These are just some of the stats behind the incredible stories which make up the history of the Grand National.
New stories are waiting to be told at Aintree on Saturday 9th April, but what will they be?