The 2023 Grand National gets underway this month and horse racing betting fans are in for another sporting spectacle. There’s nothing quite like the fight for 40 horses vaulting the fences of Aintree Racecourse in their quest for glory.
There’s also nothing quite as annoying as waiting for the results to come in, but not knowing when the race will actually finish! If you’ve ever sat down with your family to watch the National play a sweepstake then you’ll know what we mean. Sometimes the race takes what feels like an age to complete, especially if your pick falls at the first.
The Grand National is one of the biggest and best horse races on the planet. But that doesn’t stop people wanting to know when it’ll finish, so they can get on with their busy lives. Here, Paddy Power explains everything you need to know about the Grand National finish time, and what to expect when the horses cross the line…
When the Grand National starts
The Grand National starts at 5:15pm, usually on the second Saturday of April. In 2023 it will actually run on 15 April at Aintree Racecourse. The National used to run at 4:15pm but that changed in 2016. The official line is that race organisers changed the start time in order to attract bigger audiences watching on TV.
However, the 4:15 start time also clashed with Saturday 3pm football kick-offs, and the crossover between football fans and horse racing fans meant millions missed out on the big race.
Grand National finish time
Now the race starts at 5:15pm every year, the Grand National finish time usually comes in at around 5:25pm. That’s because over the past 10 years it’s taken the race on average between nine and 10 minutes to run. However, there’s always the possibility that a delayed start pushes the finish time back.
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Grand National delayed starts
Delayed starts are common at the Grand National and they can push the race back five or six minutes. This often happens when the stewards can’t get the horses bunched together enough to fairly and safely start the race. The Grand National is a running start but trying to get 40 horses to line up in some form of order is difficult. It means often the horses are sent around in circles until they’re nicely packed together, and then the tape drops and off they go!
In 2005 the Grand National was delayed by 25 minutes to avoid a clash with the royal wedding of then-Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. The wedding itself had been scheduled for the Friday, but was moved back a day because of the Pope’s funeral.
When will I know the Grand National result?
While we should know the winner of the Grand National by 5:25pm on Saturday 15 April, it may not be the case that we know the full result. That’s because the places at the Grand National may depend on stewards enquiries, and it can take a few minutes to accurately determine which horses crossed the line in each position.
However, all being well you should know the full Grand National result within three or four minutes of the race finishing.
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