A grand old History
From the early 1800s when racing started through to the present day, history comes alive at the Aintree Grand National. It is the home of sporting legends, human and equine.
The fittingly named Lottery was the first winner of the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, the race that would become known as the Grand National. The race looked very different to the modern race, with the field having to neogotiate a course that included a stone wall, ploughed land, several brooks and streams, thorn hedges and two hurdles.
Mr Edward William Topham, a respected handicapper, was responsible for turning the Grand National into a handicap in 1843. The Topham family owned substantial tracts of land around Aintree and in 1949 they bought the course outright from Lord Sefton, from whom the land had previously been leased since the racecourse’s opening in 1829. All of these names continue at Aintree in the names of races, stands and restaurants.
From Foinavon to Many Clouds, Grand National winners continue to write themselves into the history books. From Aldaniti who with Bob Champion would be immortalised on the silver screen, to Party Politics who fittingly won the race five days before a General Election.
Only Red Rum's record in the race will never be beaten; three wins and two seconds in five runnings.
Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright
2018's winner of the Randox Health Grand National was the remarkable Tiger Roll. Small and mighty, this son of the Investec Derby winner Authorized is only 15 hands 2 inches but continues to deliver on some of racing's biggest stages. He has won on each of his four appearances at the Cheltenham Festival, using the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase in 2018 as a warm up for Aintree.
In the big race itself, he went into the lead two from home and held off a late challenge from Pleasant Company to win by a head in a photo-finish.