Grand National 2018: what you need to know about the big race at Aintree
When is it, where is it and who should you back?
The Randox Health Grand National is the world's biggest jumps race, drawing a huge worldwide audience for a spectacle unlike anything else. This year's race promises to be another stunning event – here's the information you need to know to watch, enjoy and hopefully find the winner!
When and where is it?
The Grand National is held on Saturday, April 14 at Aintree racecourse just outside Liverpool. It will be broadcast live by ITV and is scheduled to begin at 5.15pm, concluding a little under ten minutes later.
Who's running in the race?
A total of 40 horses will line up for the traditional cavalry charge to the first fence. The final field will be revealed around 10am on Thursday, although four reserves could land a spot if any of the initial 40 are withdrawn before 1pm on Friday.
Although the final field will not be known until then, the horses listed 1-40 on our Grand National racecard are all guaranteed a starting spot and most will turn up for the big race – this is the Grand National after all.
Among the key players are Blaklion, who finished fourth last year, Ladbrokes Tropy winner Total Recall for Willie Mullins and Cheltenham Festival winner Tiger Roll, representing Gordon Elliott.
What makes the Grand National special?
The Grand National is among the sport's most presitigous races and carries a £1 million prize fund, but what really makes the race an annual highlight for millions is the awe-inspiring spectacle of 40 thoroughbreds thundering at high speed round the uniquely challenging National course.
The race has been made much safer in recent years in a bid to reduce the risk to horses while still maintaining the drama of the race, and the 16 fences (14 of which are jumped twice, for a total of 30) are considered the ultimate test of horse and jockey.
What else is happening at Aintree?
The Grand National festival is three days of top-class racing, beginning on Thursday and running through to its climax with the Grand National on Saturday. All three days are broadcast live on ITV and will be covered in full here on the Racing Post website.
Can I still get tickets?
There is very limited – if any – availability on the Friday (ladies' day) or Saturday (Grand National day). Visit the official website for details.
The big question: who should I back?
That's the question every one wants answered! Have a look at the card and check out our free bet offers to start with, then stay tuned to the Racing Post website, mobile app and newspaper for our expert betting advice and all the latest news in the run-up to Saturday's big race.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com