The world-famous Grand National is held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. It is a handicap steeplechase over 4 miles 3½ furlongs with horses jumping 30 fences during two circuits. The Grand National is currently sponsored by Randox Health and is the most valuable jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £1 million.
The diminutive Tiger Roll won the 2018 race and is expected to return on 6 April 2019 to defend his crown, against a class field including 2017 winner One For Arthur. Some 112 horses have been entered for the 172nd running of Aintree’s most famous race, but only 40 will be allowed to start.
The fences in the race differ from the typical steeplechase fences used in Britain, as the cores are topped with at least 14 inches of spruce. In 2013 a number of changes were made to the race in response to the deaths of four horses in the previous two meetings. These included changing the core of the fences from traditional wooden stakes to birch and plastic cores in an attempt to make the fences more ‘horse friendly’ and moving the start. No horses have died in the race since the changes were made.