When the Grand National starts, why the traditional start time was changed and how you can watch it on TV

The Grand National is arguably the biggest date in the British horse racing calendar, and jockeys and trainers will be looking to put their names in the record books at the sporting event.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 9th April 2022, 10:20 am

When is this year’s Grand National?

The Grand National race meeting got underway on Thursday, April 7 with seven races taking place on the opening day.

Friday is traditionally Ladies Day, and included one race - the Topham Handicap Chase - that was run over the Grand National course.

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However, the focus of the entire racing world will be on Aintree later as the main event of the meeting arrives.

Once the likes of the Maghull Novices Steeple Chase - won last year by the mighty Shishkin - and the Betway Handicap Chase are done, it’s time for this year’s Randox Health Grand National.

What time will The Grand National get underway?

The traditional start-time for The Grand National was always 4.15pm - but that all changed in 2016.

In a bid to attract an increased audience from the just under nine million viewers that watched Many Cloud take the honours in the 2015 race, the start-time was changed to 5.15pm and has remained at that time ever since.

Speaking of the change at the time, John Baker, Regional Director of the Jockey Club North West, said: “This is a positive move for the Crabbie’s Grand National and we’re excited about the possibility of showcasing the greatest chase in the world to a wider national and global audience.”

Where does the Grand National take place?

The Grand National takes place at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool.

Over 150,000 spectators are expected to make their way to Merseyside to attend the three-day event.

How long is the Grand National?

At a race length of four miles and two and a half furlongs and consisting of 30 fences, the Grand National is the ultimate test in the racing calendars for horses, jockeys and trainers alike.

It consists of some of the most renowned fences in the world including Becher’s Brook and The Chair.

Each of the 16 fences is jumped twice, with the exception of The Chair and the Water Jump, which are only used in the first circuit of the course.

How can I watch the Grand National?

Live coverage of the 2022 Grand National will be broadcast on ITV, as well as dedicated horse racing channel Racing TV.