The Grand National is held on 8th April 2017. Get ready to place your bets (5:15 Aintree). This famous steeplechase sees thoroughbred horses race over 4 miles and 3 ½ furlongs, two circuits on a course with 30 fearsome fences to jump. Who hasn't heard of Foinavon, Becher's Brook, The Canal Turn, The Chair... Each daunting structure topped with spruce from the Lake Distract, softening the blow of faltering horses.
It's the ultimate test of horse and jockey. Get ready for something special is happening at Grand National 2017.
The Grand National isn't a race won easily. A daunting challenge of both man and ''beast''. Horses that excel with abundant stamina, mighty strength and lungs of steel. Toothless jockeys, battled scared, back, once more, to achieve that elusive win.
Red Rum made it look easy. In truth, his three victories in the 1970s displayed a mighty character who won again and again...
There are many different reasons why a horse wins this famous steeplechase.
Lucky: Foinavon in 1967.
Outstanding: Red Rum 1973, 1977 & 1978
Brute: Party Politics 1992
So many winners have told emotional, amazing & inspiring stories. Sometimes winning this race goes beyond the victory itself. Who could forget Aldaniti's win in 1981? A horse with crippling leg problems. Bob Champion a jockey suffering from testicular cancer and given months to live.
True winners – battling for victory and life. Imperious.
In many respects, the Grand National is as much about the swift as the strong. The classic tale of the tortoise and hare.
Records show the slowest winner of all time was witnessed on the inaugural running in 1839. Lottery beat his rivals at odds of 5-1f. He finished in a time of 14 minutes and 53 seconds. By today's records that seem very slow indeed. However, one victorian commentator was quoted as saying:
''Lottery could trot faster than most of his rivals could gallop.''
If Lottery was the slowest horse to win the Grand National then which horse is the fastest?
Many readers will remember this horse before I say his name.
He set a new record time in1990. A sparkling display.
This eleven-year-old carried 10 stone six pounds to victory. A 16-1 winner trained by Kim Bailey, ridden by Mr Marcus Armitage, in the ownership of Lois Duffey.
He completed the course in a time: 8m 47.8s.
Mr Frisk is the only horse in the history of the Grand National to ever run under nine minutes. The fastest horse before this record was set by Red Rum in 1973 in a time of 9m 1.9s.
In truth, Mr Frisk ran so fast for one reason. It had been an unusually dry period leading up to the big race.
The official going: FIRM.
The track was lightning quick.
In these modern times, the firm ground wouldn't be considered acceptable. New guidelines regarding the safety and welfare of horses competing in the Grand National make this race different from the old days of blood, sweat & tears.
It is very unlikely Mr Frisk's time will ever be broken. He is the fastest Grand National winner in history.