Grand National 2023: Date, start time, latest odds and how to watch

·8-min read
Any Second Now jumps a fence – Grand National 2023: Race dates and start times, what horses are running and latest odds - Seb Daly/Getty Images
Any Second Now jumps a fence – Grand National 2023: Race dates and start times, what horses are running and latest odds - Seb Daly/Getty Images

The Grand National, the most highly-anticipated race on the British calendar, is back. The best-known steeplechase in the world features 40 runners tackling Aintree's 30 Grand National fences over the course of four miles, 2½ furlongs.

The list of potential entrants was cut on March 28, with Ashtown Lad and Lord Lariat among the highly favoured horses withdrawn. The defending champion, Noble Yeats, will be back, however, and is among the favourites for a repeat victory.

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Here is everything you need to know about this year's race.

When is the 2023 Grand National?

The Grand National is the world's most famous steeplechase, and the highlight of Aintree's three-day Grand National Festival which this year runs from Thursday, April 13 to Saturday, April 15.

The main event, the Grand National itself, is on the Saturday afternoon.

What time does the race start?

The runners will go to post for 5.15pm, the traditional tea-time slot. The National itself is the sixth of seven races at Aintree that day. At just under four and a half miles it is easily the longest race of the whole three-day meeting.

How can I watch the race? What TV channel is it on?

The Festival usually welcomes more than 150,000 racing fans. Live television coverage is on ITV and Racing TV.

What is the weather forecast?

There is plenty of rain forecast in the week before the race but showers should be clearing by the time of the race itself. The going is likely to be on the heavier side.

Which horses are running in the 2023 Grand National?

The final 40-runner line-up will be confirmed 48 hours before the race itself. Unlike in recent editions, this year if a horse is withdrawn after these 48-hour declarations, that horse will not be replaced.

As things stand, the 40 runners will be the horses numbered 1 to 40 in our full guide to the runners and riders at the 2023 Grand National. Next week we will also publish our sweepstake kit.

Where is the 2023 Grand National?

The meeting takes place at Aintree Racecourse, six miles outside of Liverpool. Aintree has hosted the race since the very first edition, in 1839.

What are some of the famous Grand National fences?

The Aintree fences are not as perilous as they once were. However, they are still the most notorious obstacles in the business.

The Chair: The Chair is the highest fence on the course, now standing at five foot two inches.

Becher's Brook: The sixth and 22nd fence in the race may not be the biggest, but its 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 in the first running of the race in 1839 and hid in the brook to avoid injury.

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.

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 Grand National tickets available?

Tickets for some areas of Aintree on Saturday have already sold out but, as of the first week of April, there are still tickets available, ranging in price from £40 for a child ticket in the 'Festival Zone' to £85 for adults. Hospitality tickets are also available, ranging in price from £405 to £1,095. Car parking is an additional £30. All tickets are available on the racecourse's official website:

How are horses picked for the Grand National?

Only a certain number of horses meet the critera for being allowed to race at the Grand National. Among the qualifications they must:

  • have an Official Rating (OR) of 125 or more,

  • be aged 7 or older,

  • have completed three or more steeplechases,

  • have completed one steeplechase in the current season,

  • have finished between 1st and 4th in a steeplechase over 2 miles 7½ furlongs or further.

How does the handicapping system work?

As a handicap race, the Grand National offers the opportunity for slightly less-fancied horses to compete on a more even playing field. The handicapping formula, as determined by the British Horseracing Authority, means that the lower-rated horses are carrying a few pounds less weight than the higher-rated contenders.

The bare minimum that a horse is permitted to carry for the National is 10st 2oz (including the jockey). The top-weighted horse – Any Second Now – will carry 11st 12lb, with the rest of the handicap weights worked out from this top weight. In 2015 Many Clouds won carrying 11st 9oz, the heaviest handicap for a winner in recent history. Last year's winner, Noble Yeats, carried just 10st 10oz. The last horse to win carrying the top weight was Red Rum in 1973, when the top handicap was set at 12st.

The weights for this year's race were announced on February 21.

What is the latest Grand National news?

Emmet Mullins has his feet on the ground as he prepares Noble Yeats for a Randox Grand National title defence.

The eight-year-old went into last year's renewal a 50-1 chance with one chasing victory under his belt and a ninth-placed run in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival as his most recent piece of form.

He provided connections with a true fairytale when giving Sam Waley-Cohen, son of owner Robert, a famous victory on his last ever ride as an amateur jockey.

Sean Bowen has since taken over the reins and the gelding followed a path to the Gold Cup this season, in which he finished an excellent fourth. And with that meeting out of sight, his attentions turn to Aintree once more.

Though both horse and trainer have a cherished National victory to their names now, Mullins is not resting on his laurels or approaching the race any differently this time around.

"It's been a bit different but not too much, I've never really let myself dwell on it," he said. "Though we're getting close to it, it's all about this year and last year's done and dusted. It's all about getting back there this year.

"I genuinely don't look at Noble Yeats and think we won it last year, we're in it again this year and that's his aim."

When asked what he would have said of Noble Yeats' chances last season, the trainer added: "I probably wouldn't have told you much! But I was still very confident myself.

"At the weights launch he was about 16-1 or 20-1. I suppose his run at Cheltenham in the Ultima was a bit disappointing but it was a big, competitive field and he was in among the hustle and bustle of it.

"Sam came away from it happy, I was too and that's when we decided that cheekpieces would be the little bit extra to get out of him."

The odds seemed to be against Noble Yeats as no seven-year-old had won the National since Bogskar's victory in 1940, but Mullins was blissfully unaware and quietly confident.

"I didn't know about the stat about seven-year-olds, I was unaware of it so I wasn't concerned about it," he said.

"He had won a three-mile novice hurdle 12 months previous in Navan, or two [miles] six [furlongs] at least, he was always a relentless stayer who came from a point-to-point background.

"There was never any reason to worry. He gallops and he jumps. What more do you want?"

What are the latest Grand National winner odds?

The current favourites for the 2023 Grand National are as follows. Telegraph Sport has also published a full guide to how to bet on the race and which horses you should be considering

  • Corach Rambler 6/1

  • Noble Yeats 8/1

  • Gaillard Du Mesnil 14/1

  • Delta Work 10/1

  • Any Second Now 12/1

  • Mr Incredible 14/1

  • Longhouse Poet 14/1

You can also view the full list of potential runners and their odds for the 2023 Grand National.

This article has been updated with the latest information for the Grand National 2023.

Will you be betting on the Grand National? Our guide to the best Grand National betting offers showcases the best free bets from the leading UK betting sites. Not sure who to back? Read our expert's Grand National betting tips.