Every year the Grand National produces very different stories from jockeys and horses alike; uplifting scenes from a victor and heartbreak when a mere inch divides the loser from the winner at the end of nearly four-and-a-half miles and thirty challenging fences. In 1839 the first winner was aptly named Lottery. Back then, huge crowds rode to Aintree by horseback, in carriages, carts or on foot. Today the Grand National is probably the world’s most famous horse race, with a global television audience of some 600 million in 140 countries.
This richly informed book focuses on the race’s various record-breakers, rather than being a purely chronological history of this greatest of all steeplechases. Many records have stood the test of time: in 2019, Tiger Roll’s second consecutive victory was the first time that the feat had been achieved since Red Rum in 1973-74. Anne Holland’s authoritative history celebrates one of the world’s greatest sporting spectacles.
‘A well-organised and cheerily anecdotal volume’ Spectator