An increased first prize in this year’s John Smith’s Grand National makes the legendary steeplechase by far the richest jump race in Europe.

First prize for the 2011 race, which takes place on 9 April, will increase to a record £950,000, a rise of £25,000 on last year’s race.

This will be a seventh Grand National race run under headline sponsor John Smith
and total prize-money for the three-day meeting, which starts on 7 April, will be £2,540,000.

Despite a budgeted 18% reduction in funds from the Horserace Betting Levy Board to the racecourse, this amount is only 1.36% less than the 2010 total (£2,575,000) as a result of Aintree increasing its own investment in prize-money to make up the bulk of the shortfall.

By increasing its prize-money investment, Aintree has managed to keep its key support races at the same prize-money level as the 2010 meeting.

Julian Thick, Aintree’s managing director, said: “With is fantastic to have such a supportive partner in John Smith’s, who have enabled us to continue to increase the prize-fund for our showcase.”

Nigel Pollard of John Smith’s said: “We are delighted that the team at Aintree
have, once again, managed to raise the value of the John Smith’s Grand National
while minimising the effects of a cut in funding from the Levy Board.”