Grand National Aintree Racecourse Guide

Aintree Racecourse is one of the most formidable in National Hunt racing. The 2¼ mile course features sixteen tough fences, two of which are only jumped in the first circuit of the Grand National. It takes a human approximately an hour to walk the course, yet the forty Grand National racehorses usually run two laps of the course in just over fifteen minutes.

Grand National Aintree Racecourse Guide – The Fences

  • Fence 1 is 4ft 7in high and 2ft 6in wide. Despite being one of the smallest fences, it has one of the highest fall rates as horses and riders often push themselves too hard trying to take the lead.
  • Fence 2 is somewhat wider than the first, but the same height.
  • Westhead is one of the first severe tests on the course. The 5ft high fence is fronted by a 6ft deep trench.
  • Fence four is a regulation fence at 4ft 10in high.
  • Fence five is 5ft high and 3ft 6in wide, and is covered in needle-like spruce.
  • Becher’s Brook looks harmless from the approach side, but the infamous fence hides its peril in a 6ft 9in drop over a stream, followed by a hard left hand turn.
  • Foinavon Fence is one of the shortest on the course at 4ft 6in high, yet has a reputation as the fence that once halted an entire field allowing rank outsider Foinavon to take the race at 100/1 odds.
  • Canal Turn is one of the most challenging obstacles on the course. Horses clearing the fence are confronted by a canal that forces them into a 90 degree turn. Riders are forced to jump the fence at an angle to avoid a premature end to their race.
  • Valentine’s Brook confronts horses that have survived the Canal Turn. The fence is 5ft high, and horses are required to clear a brook on the landing side.
  • Fence ten is a 5ft high thorn fence.
  • The Booth is 5ft high and 3ft wide, fronted by a harrowing 6ft ditch on the takeoff side.
  • Fence 12 is 5ft high, with a ditch on the landing side.
  • Fence 13 is a regulation fence at 4ft 7in.
  • Fence 14 is relatively incident-free at 4ft 7in.
  • The Chair is jumped only on the first lap. The fence stands an incredible 5ft 3in high, and is fronted by a 6ft ditch on the approach side, requiring horses to clear a total distance of 9 feet.
  • The Water Jump is the lowest fence on the course at 2ft 9in, and requires horses to clear a 6ft water hazard on the landing side. It is only jumped in the first lap.

The Aintree Racecourse finish, at 494 yards, is one of the longest and toughest in horseracing, forcing weary horses and riders to negotiate a sharp turn before racing for the finishing post.

Aintree - Aintree
John Smith's Grand National Chase (Grade 3 Handicap) (Class 1) - 16:15
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Seabass 8 13/2 15/2 15/2 8 11/2 7 15/2
On His Own 10 8 9 9 10 8 10 9
Cappa Bleu 12 12 12 11 12 12 12 12
Chicago Grey 12 11 12 11 12 11 12 12
Teaforthree 12 10 12 11 12 10 12 12
Colbert Station 12 12 11 12 12 12 14 12
Imperial Commander 14 11 16 14 14 11 16 16
Balthazar King 16 16 16 14 16 16 20 16
Rare Bob 20 16 22 16 20 16 20 18
Sunnyhillboy 20 25 20 20 20 20 20 20
Roberto Goldback 22 25 25 20 22 25 20 22
Join Together 20 25 20 25 20 25 20 20
Ballabriggs 20 20 20 28 20 20 16 20
Always Waining 25 33 28 28 25 33 33 33
Soll 33 33 40 28 33 33 33 33
Big Fella Thanks 40 33 33 33 40 33 40 33
Harry The Viking 33 40 25 33 33 40 40 33
Quiscover Fontaine 40 40 33 33 40 40 50 33
Quel Esprit 40 40 40 33 40 40 50 40
Across The Bay 33 40 33 33 33 40 40 40
Treacle 33 40 33 33 33 40 33 33
Saint Are 40 66 50 40 40 66 66 40
Lost Glory 50 50 66 50 50 50 50 50
Forpadydeplasterer 50 66 66 50 50 66 66 66
Weird Al 50 66 66 50 50 66 66 66
Joncol 50 50 50 50 50 50 66 50
What A Friend 50 33 50 50 50 33 66 66
Becauseicouldntsee 66 66 50 50 66 66 80 66
Auroras Encore 66 66 66 50 66 66 80 66
Oscar Time 50 66 66 66 50 66 50 66
The Rainbow Hunter 66 66 80 66 66 50 80 80
Swing Bill 80 80 100 66 80 80 80 66
Viking Blond 80 66 100 66 80 66 80 80
Major Malarkey 80 50 100 80 80 50 100 80
Ninetieth Minute 66 80 100 80 66 80 66 66
Mr Moonshine 80 66 80 80 80 66 66 80
Tatenen 66 100 66 100 66 100 66 100
Any Currency 100 100 100 80 100 100 66 100
Tarquinius 100 100 100 80 100 100 80 100
Mumbles Head 100 100 100 80 100 100 66 100
Pentiffic - NR - - - - - -
Mortimers Cross - NR - - - - - -