Red Rum’s incredible victory in the 1973 Grand National was the beginning of a legend being born and since then no horse has had quite the impact that Red Rum did. In 2017 One For Arthur won the race but he will not be defending his title this year, meaning that last year’s favourite, Blaklion will once again be favourite.
Total Recall is the second favourite on horse racing betting and could beat the favourite given Blaklion’s disappointing fourth place finish in 2017. Regardless of who wins the race, they will have had to run the challenging course at Aintree, which takes around three weeks to construct. The grass is prepared over the winter and spring to ensure that it is the correct length to run on, in Aintree’s case, 100mm.
The Lake District is the source of the 150 tonnes of spruce needed to dress all sixteen fences and each fence takes two days to construct and dress. There are several different methods the grounds people use in order to water the course, with the irrigation system, Briggs Booms and Briggs water gun used to water the challenging course.
With the weather unpredictable in the United Kingdom, the grounds staff sometimes use iron and magnesium sprays in order to make the grass appear the right shade of green. On the day of the Grand National the number of staff increases from the forty that are used on a normal race day to a huge 225 members of staff, such is the preparation required for the course.
With all of this information in mind, we have created the infographic shown below which looks at some of the most challenging aspects of constructing the course and how much effort the staff have to put in.