Grand National

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The Grand National is a world famous National Hunt horse race which is held at Aintree in the United Kingdom. It is a handicap chase containing thirty fences which is run over a distance of 4 miles and 856 yards (7,242 m).[2] It is presently scheduled to take place each year on a Saturday afternoon in early April. The next Grand National is scheduled to take place on 9 April 2011.[3]

It is the most valuable National Hunt event in Great Britain, and in 2010 it offered a total prize fund of £925,000.[1] The race is popular amongst many people who do not normally watch or bet on horse racing at other times of the year.[4]

The race is run over two circuits of Aintree's National Course, which is triangular in shape and on which there are sixteen fences.[2] All, except The Chair and the Water-Jump, are jumped twice. Some fences are notorious for their severity, particularly Becher's Brook[5] and The Chair, although in recent years Aintree authorities have worked in conjunction with animal welfare organisations to minimise the danger of the jumps while still preserving them as formidable obstacles.[6][7] The Grand National is the centrepiece of a three-day meeting, one of only four run at Aintree in the racing season.[8]

It is one of ten events reserved for live broadcast on UK terrestrial television under the ITC Code on Sports and Other Listed Events. It is estimated that the Grand National is watched worldwide by over 600 million viewers.[9]

The most recent running of the race took place on April 10, 2010, and was won by Tony McCoy and Don't Push It for trainer Jonjo O'Neill and owner J. P. McManus.

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