The Grand National at Aintree is the world's most recognisable horse race.
It is widely regarded as one of Britain's greatest sporting institutions and is a race that draws interest from a wide spectrum of society. Here's everything you need to know about the world's greatest steeplechase.
The Grand National takes places on Saturday 9th April 2022 at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, with a scheduled start-time of 17.15UK.
Aside from being at Aintree to see it live, the Grand National is shown live on terrestrial television in Britain via ITV Racing - they broadcast action from Aintree on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, including all the major races. A peak audience of 8.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the race in 2021. You can also catch it on our Sports Live Streaming platform.
The Grand National is a handicap steeplechase run over a distance of four-and-a-quarter-miles - currently the longest distance of any race run in Britain. The unique Grand National fences are topped with spruce, ensuring they are distinguishable from 'regular' fences. The race is the ultimate test of stamina and jumping.
Horses have 30 jumping tests to pass in the Grand National as they complete two circuits of the course but there are only 16 unique fences to be jumped. The Aintree fences are famous around the world, with names such as The Chair, Becher's Brook, Foinavon, The Canal Turn and Valentine's Brook synonymous with the Merseyside marathon.
The Grand National in 2021 was won by Minella Times, trained by Henry De Bromhead, owned by JP McManus and ridden by Rachael Blackmore.
It was the first time in the history of the great race that a female jockey won and the story made sporting headlines around the world.
In a dominant performance, Minella Times and Blackmore had more than six-lengths to spare on runner-up Balko Des Flos, while the first five horses home were all Irish-trained. Connections of the winner pocketed £375,000.
The assignment of weights for the 2022 Grand National takes places in February, after which it becomes much clearer which horses are most likely to take part. Minella Times is 20/1 to repeat his success of last year, something his predecessor Tiger Roll managed when winning in 2018 and 2019.
Amongst the other early contenders on the betting are 2021 Cheltenham Festival winner Galvin at 16/1 for trainer Gordon Elliott and last year's beaten favourite Cloth Cap at 33/1 for Jonjo O'Neill.
The National is the most iconic jumps race in the world and has a far-reaching appeal that extends beyond regular fans of horse racing. Perhaps the most famous National horse of all-time is Red Rum, who won three times (1973, '74 & '77) for legendary trainer Ginger McCain. Tiger Roll (2019 & '19) is the only horse since Red Rum to retain the Aintree prize.
The race has been won by the great and the good of jumps racing and the winners' often have fantastic stories attached to them. In modern times, the quest of 20-times champion jockey AP McCoy to win the race was a long-running story - one that finally resulted in ultimate glory when he won on Don't Push It in 2010.
With as many as 40 horses lining up, the Grand National is one of the most open betting heats in the calendar and it takes both ability and luck to win on the day.
The race has thrown up its share of shocks down the years, with five winners returned at odds of 100/1. They were: Tipperary Tim (1928), Gregalach (1929), Caughoo (1947), Foinavon (1967) and Mon Mome (2009).
Poethlyn went off at 11/4 for trainer Harry Escott and rider Ernie Piggott in 1919, the first running after a three-year hiatus for World War 1, and the nine-year-old justified those odds to win.
In 2019, Tiger Roll was sent off at odds of 4/1 to retain his crown - a price many might have been scoffing at - but the Gigginstown House-owned terrier was again too strong for the field.
Tiger Roll missed the race in 2021 but is trading at 28/1 to come back and score in 2022 for trainer Gordon Elliott.
The maximum field allowed in the Grand National is now set at 40. The biggest field ever to compete was 66 back in 1929, while only ten lined-up back in 1883 - the smallest ever turnout.
Back in 1984, 23 horses completed the course, a record high, while there were only two finishers in 1928.
George Dockeray sent out four winners in the 19th century, while the tally was equalled by Fred Rimell from 1956-1976. Ginger McCain masterminded Red Rum's three wins in the 1970s and then sent out Amberleigh House to win in
Gordon Elliot, who saddled Silver Birch in 2007 and two-time winner Tiger Roll, is closing in on equalling that record haul.
George Stevens won five times from 1856-1870. In more recent times the likes of Carl Llewellyn, Ruby Walsh and Davy Russell have won two Grand Nationals while Leighton Aspell achieved a notable feat by riding two different winners back-to-back in Pineau Du Re and Many Clouds in 2014/15.