Grand National 2017: When is the Aintree race, what time does it start and what TV channel is it on?

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph

What is the Grand National? 

Aintree's Grand National is the most popular jumps race on the calendar as 40 runners take on the daunting obstacle of 30 fences over the course of four and a half miles. 

When is the Grand National 2017?

The horses will go to post at 5.15pm on Saturday 8th April. With Saracens vs Harlequins at Wembley, another round of Premier League football and the third round of The Masters, it looks a mouth-watering day of sport. 

Where is it?

As always, Aintree, which has hosted the race since 1839. The racecourse is situated approximately six miles outside of Liverpool. 

What TV channel is it on? 

The National is on ITV for the first time this year after they won the broadcasting rights to show racing. Ed Chamberlin is their presenter, a familiar face and voice for any football fans out there.

Which horses are running?

The final field of 40 runners will be named on Thursday 6 April, with four reserves in case of any withdrawals before 1pm on Friday 7 April. Here's a list of the runners and riders as they stand

110 horses entered the race this year, and they were all assigned a weight by the British Horse Racing Authority's head of handicapping.

ITV's new horse racing team included Ed Chamberlin and AP McCoyCredit: Getty Images
ITV's new horse racing team included Ed Chamberlin and AP McCoyCredit: Getty Images

The handicap system is simpler than it sounds, and is designed to create as close a race as possible. The better horses carry the most weight while the outsiders carry the least. Each horse has an OR (official rating) and this will largely determine the weight they carry. The maximum for this year's National is 11st 10lbs and the minimum is 10st. In theory, the handicap system aims to create a dead heat but this cannot happen in practice. 

The weights for this year's race were released on Valentine's Day and the horses listed in descending order from most weight to least.

What are the Grand National betting odds? 

The odds will change in the days and hours leading up to the race. Remember to check what terms your bookmaker is offering, with some firms paying out four places on an each-way bet and some extending it to five or even six places. You can find the odds here.

What are some of the famous fences? 

The Aintree fences are not quite as perilous as they were once upon a time after a series of alterations. However, they are still the most notorious obstacles in the business and enough to make the palms of any jockey sweat. 

Becher's Brook: The sixth and 22nd fence in the race may not be the biggest, but it's difficulty comes from the fact the landing side is 10 inches lower than the take off side. Named after Captain Martin Becher, a jockey who fell at this stage and hid in the brook to avoid injury. 

Becher's Brook in 1969Credit: PA
Becher's Brook in 1969Credit: PA

Valentine's Brook: Named after a horse that allegedly jumped it backwards in 1840. More likely, the horse spun around in mid-air to create the optical illusion that its hind legs landed first. 

The Chair: The tallest fence on the course now stands a five foot three inches. 

Foinavon: One of the smaller fences is named after the 100/1 shot who avoided a disastrous pile-up here in 1967 and went on to win. 

Canal Turn:As the name suggests, horses must take a sharp turn to the left after jumping this five foot obstacle. Another Aintree myth is that horses used who refused to turn ended up in the Liverpool and Leeds canal. 

Are there tickets left? 

There are some £27 tickets left in the Steeplechase enclosure via the official Grand National website. All other enclosures and stands are sold out. 

Grand National 2017


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