5 Apr 2014

Grand National day: extreme sport and big money

Sports reporter

Ahead of the world’s most famous race, Jordan Jarrett-Bryan reports from Aintree on the protests, the money and a horse called Shakalakaboomboom.

Grand National day. (Getty)

It is dubbed the “extreme sport”. And extremities come with a cost.

Organisers of the Grand National have shown their intent on making sure the Aintree racecourse is as safe as possible, putting their money where their mouth is.

Aintree has seen a £1.5m investment in safety and welfare over the last five years, but you only have to walk 14 yards out of Aintree train station before meeting the animal rights protesters handing out “boycott horse racing” leaflets. It is a devisive subject because this is a devisive sport.

Inside Aintree, the only division is between those deciding on whether Teaforthree is a worthy favourite or if The Package is worth a punt.

This is the 167th running and for many the 168th couldn’t come soon enough with the prize money (for jockey and the public) going up every year.

This year the total prize money is £1m from the winner to tenth place. The winner, will be £561,300 better off.

Tony McCoy will feature in his 19th ride in this race, riding Double Seven. He won this race back in 2010, but many feel he’s worth putting a few quid on.

The Grand National Stepple Chase gets underway at 4.15pm with Teaforthree and Long Run the favourites, but Big Shu and the excitingly named Shakalakaboomboom are advisable long shots.