Grand National day in UK

The Grand National is a National Hunt horse race held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, United Kingdom. First run officially in 1839, it is a handicap steeplechase over 4 miles 3½ furlongs (7,200m) with horses jumping 30 fences over two circuits.The next Grand National will be held in April 2014.

The Grand National is the most valuable jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £975,000 in 2013. It is popular amongst many people who do not normally watch or bet on horse racing at other times of the year.

The racecourse is triangular in shape with 16 fences, all jumped twice except The Chair (15th) and the Water Jump (16th). The course has a reputation as the ultimate test of horse and jockey. Most starters fail to complete the two circuits, with many falling at the famous fences including Becher’s Brook, The Chair and the Canal Turn.

The Grand National has been broadcast live on free-to-air terrestrial television in the United Kingdom since 1960. An estimated 500 to 600 million people watch the Grand National in over 140 countries.

The 2013 Grand National was won by Auroras Encore ridden by jockey Ryan Mania for trainer Sue Smith.

Grand National 2013: Auroras Encore wins – as it happened

Auroras Encore, a 66-1 shot, won the 2013 Grand National from Cappa Bleu on the jockey Ryan Mania’s first ride in the race

66-1 shot Auroras Encore ridden by Ryan Mania celebrates winning the Grand National at Aintree.
66-1 shot Auroras Encore ridden by Ryan Mania celebrates winning the Grand National at Aintree. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Ryan Mania

Winning jockey Ryan Mania kisses the trophy after winning the Grand National on his first ride in the world’s most famous race. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Observer

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