Grand National records: Fastest winning time, fewest finishers, pints drunk, heaviest weight

Did you know no horse priced greater than 100/1 has ever won the Grand National?

Grand National records


The Grand National is almost 200 years old and so it’s no wonder there are a fair few records set down the years. From the fastest time to the oldest winner, the first ever woman jockey to the most wins by a trainer, we’ve got every Grand National stat you’ll ever need right here.

What’s more, Grand National records can even help your bet choices for the next race at Aintree. So let’s get straight into the biggest, best and weirdest horse racing records you need to know about from the Grand National!

Most Grand National Wins

Let’s start with the easy ones. Red Rum is the only horse to win the Grand National three times (1973, 1974 and 1977). George Stevens was a five-time winner and is the most successful Grand National jockey of all time (1856, 1863, 1864, 1869, 1870). Three men – George Dockeray, Fred Rimmell and Ginger McCain – share the record for the most wins of any trainer (four apiece). 

Grand National Time and Age Records

It takes on average between nine and 10 minutes to run the Grand National. Here are some Grand National time records to be aware of:

  • Fastest winning time – 8 minutes, 47 seconds, Mr Frisk (1990)
  • Slowest winning time – 14 minutes, 53 seconds, Lottery (1839)
  • Oldest winning horse – Peter Simple (1853), age 15
  • Youngest winning horse – Alcibiade (1865), Regal (1876), Austerlitz (1877), Empress (1880), Lutteur III (1909); all age 5
  • Oldest winning jockey – Dick Saunders (1982); age 48
  • Youngest winning jockey – Bruce Hobbs (1938); age 17

Grand National Betting Records

It’s not often that a horse win the Grand National at odds of 100/1. But it has happened in the past, and who’s to say it won’t happen this year? Here are the horse racing betting records to be aware of at the Grand National…

  • Longest odds winner – 100/1 for Tipperary Tim (1928), Gregalach (1929), Caughoo (1947), Foinavon (1967), Mon Mome (2009)
  • Shortest odds winner – 11/4 for Poethlyn (1919)
  • Around £250m is bet on the Grand National every year. In 2021, despite Covid-19 forcing the race to be run virtually, £120m was bet on the National
  • A quarter of all UK adults bet on the Grand National
  • 74% of Grand National bets are placed on the Each Way markets
  • A third of bettors wager £5 or more on the Grand National
  • The average odds of a Grand National winner since 1998 is 24/1


Grand National Horse Records

Let’s take a look at some stats that you might then see on the Grand National racecard this weekend…

  • Average age of Grand National winners – 9.6 years*
  • Average weight of Grand National winners – 10-03*
  • Highest weight to win the Grand National – 12st 7lb, won by Poethlyn (1919), Jerry M (1912), Manifesto (1899) and Cloister (1893)
  • Lowest weight to win the Grand National – 9st 6lb (Freetrader 1856)
  • Longest winning distance – ‘A distance’, won by Cloister (1893), Covertcoat (1913), Shaun Splash (1921), Tipperary Tim (1928), Mr What (1958) and Red Marauder (2001)
  • Shortest winning distance – ‘A nose’, won by Neptune Collonges ahead of Sunnyhillboy (2012)
  • Only three grey horses have ever won the Grand National

*since 1999

Richard Johnson at the Grand National

Richard Johnson raced 21 times at the Grand National without winning the race (GETTY)

Grand National Number of Horses Records

These days the Grand National features 40 horses. But in the past there had been a wild variety of runner numbers.

  • Smallest Grand National field – 10 runners (1883)
  • Largest Grand National field – 66 runners (1929)
  • Fewest number of horses to finish – 2 (1928)
  • Greatest number of horses to finish – 23 (1984)

Grand National Jockey Stats

George Stevens won the Grand National five times between 1856 and 1870, and tragically died in 1871 after suffering a skull fracture while racing.

Bruce Hobbs won the Grand National as a 17-year-old in 1938 atop Battleship. He remains the youngest-ever National winner. Dick Saunders, meanwhile, holds the record for the oldest Grand National winner at 48, when he partnered Grittar to victory in 1982.

Jockey William Watkinson became the first Australian to win he Grand National in 1926 but was killed three weeks later at Bogside Racecourse.

Charlotte Brew became the first female jockey to compete in the Grand National, in 1977. She went on to compete in 19 Nations over the course of her career. In 2021 Rachael Blackmore became the first woman to win the race, atop Minella Times.

Retired jockey Richard Johnson was a Grand National fixture for much of his racing career and competed in his event a record 21 times. However, Johnson also never won the Grand National, which means he holds the unwanted record for most entries without victory.

  • Most rides in the race – 21 (Richard Johnson, 1997-2019)
  • Most rides without winning – 21 (Richard Johnson, 1997-2019)

Fence Stats

The first ever “fence” at the Grand National was actually a stone wall, and the first five races only had this one jump. The wall was situated where the water jump now stands.

Around one fifth of all falls at the Grand National come at Becher’s Brook. Other notorious fences are Fence 4 (12% of falls occur here), Fence 11 (5.3%) and Fence 13 (4.2%). At 5ft 2in, The Chair is the highest fence but only 2.1% of Grand National falls occur here.

It takes a month to build the 30 spruce fences for the Grand National, at a cost that runs into thousands of pounds.

Interesting Grand National Facts

  • Around 600 million people watch the Grand National every year
  • The favourite has won the Grand National on 10 occasions in the post-war era, most recently in 2019 when Tiger Roll stormed to victory.
  • 13 mares have won the Grand National but none since Nickel Coin in 1951
  • Only two French horses have ever won the Grand National (Huntsman in 1862 and Cortolvin in 1867)
  • 10 Irish horses have won the Grand National since 1999
  • Channel 4 first screen the Grand National in 2013. Four years later the broadcast rights were taken over by ITV.
  • Noble Yeats (2022) was the first seven-year-old to win the Grand National since Bogskar in 1940
  • It is estimated 250,000 pints of beer are poured during the Grand National Festival



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