Keeping The Turf Tip Top For The Grand National At Aintree
February 27 - Preparing for the Grand National is a monumental task, with sixteen fences to be built and miles of turf to be grown and treated in the months leading up to the big race. With over 100 tonnes of spruce from the Lake District needing to be added to the fences, it is no surprise that each of the sixteen fences takes around two days to build and dress and the whole course takes three weeks to complete.
This year's Grand National sees Blaklion named as the favourite in the Betfair horse racing bets, however as past results have proven, the favourite rarely comes out as the winner. In 2017's race Blaklion finished in fourth and will be hoping to improve on that result by winning the Grand National as One For Arthur did last year.
Initial preparation for the race started in winter with the grass grown and maintained at a specific length before being allowed to grow again in the spring months leading up to the race. The course itself takes three weeks to be prepared, with each of the sixteen fences taking two days to complete. Around 150 tonnes of spruce from the Lake District is used to dress all of the fences while in 2013 the construction of the fences was changed to make it safer for the horses, with the solid timber frames replaced with movable plastic bases and plastic birch.
The Grand National is one of the biggest events of the year and even those who are not die-hard fans of the sport take an interest in the race, with many placing bets or participating in sweepstakes at work. The infographic below was created to demonstrate the work that goes in to constructing one of the most challenging courses a horse has to run.
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