How many women have trained a Grand National winner?

How many women have trained a Grand National winner?  The short answer is four, although it’s important to note that the undisputed ‘Queen of Aintree’, Jenny Pitman, trained two winners. The redoubtable ‘Mrs. P.’, as she was affectionately known, shattered the glass ceiling when saddling Corbiere, ridden by a youthful Ben de Haan, to victory, by an ever-diminishing three-quarters of a length, over Greasepaint in 1983. Not satisfied with becoming the first woman to train the winner of the Grand National, twelve years later, in 1995, Jenny Pitman repeated the dose with Royal Athlete. Third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup two seasons previously, the 12-year-old was sent off at 40/1 at Aintree, but led for most of the second circuit and stayed on strongly to beat the 1992 winner Party Politics by 7 lengths.

It was another 14 years until Venetia Williams added her name to the Grand National roll of honour, courtesy of shock winner Mon Mome, in 2009. Beaten favourite in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow the previous December, Mon Mome was sent off at 100/1 at Aintree after a run of indifferent form. However, under the late Liam Treadwell, he returned to form in no uncertain terms, leading soon after the final fence and drawing clear on the run-in to beat the 2008 winner Comply Or Die by 12 lengths.

Four years later, in 2013, Auroras Encore, trained by Sue Smith near Baildon, West Yorkshire, caused another surprise when defying odds of 66/1 to win the Grand National by 9 lengths under debutant jockey Ryan Mania. Four years later still, in 2017, the well-fancied One For Arthur, trained by Lucinda Russell, near Kinross in the Scotland, became the latest horse trained by a woman to win the Grand National, beating Glenfarclas Chase winner Cause Of Causes by 4½ lengths at odds of 14/1.

Which fences are jumped just once during the Grand National?

Which fences are jumped just once during the Grand National?  The Grand National is run over two full circuits of a flat, triangular course, 2 miles 2 furlongs in extent. Often described as the ‘ultimate test of horse and rider’, the Grand National takes in a total of 30 distinctive, spruce-covered fences, 16 of which are jumped on the first circuit and 14 on the second.

The fences that are jumped just once during the Grand National are the final two on the first circuit, namely The Chair and the Water Jump. Standing 5’2″ high and preceded by 6′ wide ditch on the take-off side, The Chair is both the tallest and broadest obstacle on the Grand National course. The ground on the landing side is actually 6″ higher than that on the take-off side, making The Chair a formidable obstacle, especially for inexperienced horses.

By contrast, the Water Jump stands just 2’9″ high, but features an expanse of water, 8’10” wide and 6″ deep, on the landing side. Thus, from the point of take-off, horses must cover a total horizontal distance of 14’4″ to clear the fence and the water beyond. Positioned as it is, right in front of the grandstands, the Water Jump provides a thrilling spectacle for viewers. On the second circuit of the Grand National, having jumped the thirtieth and final fence, runners tack right, bypassing The Chair and the Water Jump, and set off up the infamously long, 494-yard run-in to the winning post.

What sort of record do grey horses have in the Grand National?

What sort of record do grey horses have in the Grand National?  The short answer is lamentable, or so it might appear, at first glance. Up to and including the 2021 renewal of the Grand National, the world famous steeplechase has been run 173 times, but has been won by a grey horse on just four occasions, or just 2% of the time. However, if you consider that just 3% of thoroughbred racehorses are grey, in the first place, and grey horses are more susceptible to certain health issues, including equine melanoma, in later life, perhaps their record in the Grand National isn’t so bad after all.

In any event, The Lamb was the first grey horse to win the Grand National, battling to victory on heavy going in 1868, as a six-year-old. Indeed, having missed the next two renewals of the Grand National, for various reasons, The Lamb returned to Aintree in 1871, as a nine-year-old; having jumped well, he quickened clear in the closing stages to win the celebrated steeplechase for the second time.

The next grey horse to win the Grand National was Nicolaus Silver, fully 90 years later, in 1961.

Favoured by the firm going, the Fred Rimell-trained nine-year-old established a narrow advantage approaching the final fence and only had to be kept up to his work on the run-in to beat the fading Merryman by 5 lengths.

After another 51-year hiatus, the last grey horse to win the Grand National was Neptune Collonges in 2012. A stable companion of Denman and Kauto Star, behind whom he had finished third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup four seasons earlier, the 11-year-old earned his own place in Aintree folklore when catching Sunnyhillboy in the final stride to win by a nose.

What are the standard each-way terms on the Grand National?

What are the standard each-way terms on the Grand National?  The standard each-way terms on any horse race are dictated by the number of runners and, once that number rises to twelve or more, by whether or not the race is a handicap. The Grand National is, of course, a handicap, in which a maximum of 40 runners are permitted to participate. Thus, if bookmakers apply the strict letter of the law, the standard each-way terms are the same as any other handicap with 16 or more runners; first, second, third and fourth place are paid, at one quarter of the win odds.

However, the Grand National is so much more than just another handicap; it’s a British institution. The last two renewals attracted peak viewing figures of 9.6 million and 8.8 million, respectively, in Britain alone and, with over £100 million bet on the race, industry-wide, bookmakers are invariably falling over themselves to attract the attention of once-a-year punters. Consequently, even in the ante-post market, some bookmakers offer five or six places – albeit at a rather miserly one fifth of the win odds – as standard.

On the day of the race, some bookmakers may go a stage further and offer enhanced each-way terms, involving seven, eight or even ten places at one fifth the win odds. However, take notice of the win odds they offer, which are likely to be reduced, sometimes significantly, to compensate for the increased liability, on the part of the bookmaker, in offering enhanced each-way terms.

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