Grand National 2016: The lowdown on the horse race 600mn will be watching

© Andrew Boyers
Today is Grand National Day, when hundreds of millions of people around the world will tune in to watch one of the world’s most iconic horse races, run at the famous Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, UK. Here we take a look at some of the numbers behind one of racing’s ultimate prizes.

This year will the 169th running of the Grand National, and the first race took place way back in 1839.  

A worldwide audience of 600 million people are expected to tune in to watch the race, which starts at 17.15 BST.

Bookmakers estimate that punters will wager £150 million (about $212 million) in bets on the big race.  

A crowd of up to 70,000 is expected at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, UK.

Racegoers on Grand National Day in previous years have been estimated to sink about 250,000 pints of beer, 38,000 shots of vodka, and 5,000 cocktails, according to Travel Globe. 

This year 40 runners are registered to line up to compete over the four-and-a-half mile (7.14km) course.  

The winner will receive £1 million in prize money.

Horses bred in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany will take part in the race. 

The current favorite at odds of around 7-1 is Many Clouds – bidding to win the race for the second year in a row.  

The last horse to win two consecutive Nationals was the legendary Red Rum – over 40 years ago, back in 1973 and 1974. Red Rum also won the race in 1977.

Many Clouds is an Irish-bred, British-trained horse. The nine-year-old Thoroughbred is from the age group that has provided the most National winners.

Jockey Leighton Aspell, the 39-year-old Dubliner, will be riding Many Clouds, and is bidding to become the first person ever to win the race for the third consecutive year, after successes on Pineau De Re in 2014 and Many Clouds last year.

The fastest-ever winning time for the Grand National is 8 minutes and 47.8 seconds, set by Mr. Frisk in 1990.

To complete the course, the runners and riders will have to jump 30 fences, including the notorious Chair – the tallest fence in the race, at 5ft 3in, and with a 6ft open ditch before it.

The race is famously unpredictable, and it is estimated that 63% of horses will fail to finish the grueling course, according to Grand National Stats. In 1928, just two horses finished the race from a starting field of 41.

This year's field includes two female jockeys - Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry. The race has never been won by a female rider.   

The best finish to date by a female jockey was when Katie Walsh came third on Seabass in 2012.

The race is sure to be exciting, and if like an estimated 25 percent of the UK population you are going to be making a wager, then good luck!  

 

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