The biggest spectacle in the British horse racing calendar returns this weekend, as Aintree once again hosts the Randox Health Grand National.
Aintree is anticipating that throughout the festival, which comes to a conclusion late on Saturday afternoon, it will welcome in excess of 150,000 racing enthusiasts. The National marks the culmination of three days of enthralling jump racing.
Having replaced Channel Four as the lead broadcaster for the prestigious race two years ago, ITV will once show this year’s Festival. Since the switch, ITV has failed to hit the viewing figures of its predecessor, although the National has retained its status as one of Britain’s most watched sporting events.
Currently sharing the mantle as ante post favourite for the race is Willie Mullins trained Total Recall, Tiger Roll, who enjoyed a largely successful Cheltenham Festival, and the nine year old Blaklion, will all currently priced at 10/1.
A further positive point from this year’s race is that for the first time in 30 year, three female jockeys look set to enter the race, with Rachael Blackmore riding Alpha Des Obeaux, Bryony Frost riding Milansbar and Katie Walsh on Baie Des Iles.
This year’s race marks Walsh’s sixth National appearance, as she once again aims to become the first female jockey to win the race, having previously finished third on the well backed, Seabass in 2012, a National that will live long in the memory, as its drama encompassed everything that’s so gripping about the showpiece event.