What other Grand Nationals are there in the world?

The Grand Steeple-Chase De Paris has an €850,000 prize pot

other Grand Nationals


The Grand National is the biggest event in horse racing betting, in terms of eyeballs on the race. Millions of people from around the world watch the Grand National live and place bets or join sweepstakes for this remarkable spectacle.

Nowhere else in the world do 40 horses vault 30 fences on the charge for such an illustrious prize. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other Grand Nationals across the planet. In fact, this extra-long steeplechase is a format that has popped up across the racing industry.

Here, Paddy Power takes you through the different types of Grand National horse racing betting fans can follow across the racing calendar.

Other Grand Nationals across the world

The Irish Grand National

Winning the Irish Grand National is big business, with a €500,000 prize pot (GETTY)

Irish Grand National

Probably the second-most prestigious Grand National after the Aintree one, the Irish Grand National regularly features horses that will eventually head to the Big One. It runs at Fairyhouse in Co. Meath every April, usually in the days before Aintree’s big run. Shutthefrontdoor won the 2014 Irish Grand National and then finished fifth at Aintree a year later. Organisedconfusion did the same in 2011 and ran at Aintree in 2012, but unseated Nina Carberry at the Canal Turn.

The Irish Grand National has a €500,000 prize pot.

Scottish Grand National

The Grand National’s start to stack up in April when the Scottish Grand National gets underway towards the end of the month. Horses that have run in the Aintree and Irish races very rarely compete here. The Scottish Grand National has run since 1867 and comes in at four miles. There’s a £150,000 purse at stake, and famous winners include Vicente (twice), Take Control (under Ruby Walsh) and Willsford (oldest horse to win the Scottish Grand National).

Welsh Grand National

Organisers of the Welsh Grand National don’t wait until April to get going. This race is booked in for Boxing Day each year and runs at the glorious Chepstow racecourse. First run in 1895, the Welsh Grand National has a £150,000 prize pot and runs over 3 miles 6 furlongs. Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised and Coral Cup champ Native River both won the Welsh. Raz De Maree became its oldest champion since the war when storming to victory as a 13-year-old in 2017.

Grand Steeple-Chase De Flanders

Belgium’s biggest race, the Grand Steeplechase De Flanders has 25 jumps and is considered it’s Grand National equivalent. It has run since the 1850s at Hippodrome Waregem and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Taupin Rochelais won the race in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Grand Steeple-Chase De Paris

Auteuil Racecourse plays stage to the Grand Steeple-Chase De Paris every May, and carries a hefty €850,000 prize pot. The race covers 6000 metres over 23 fences, and is open to five-year-olds and up. First run in 1874, the Grand has actually has its distance reduced from a previous maximum length of 6500 metres in the late 1800s. Trainer Guillaume Macaire has won the race a record seven times. Recent double winners include Docteur de Ballon, So French, and Mid Dancer.

Velká pardubická

Czech horse racing is growing in popularity and the Velká pardubická is as big as it gets. The race takes place every October and is eight yards shorter than the Grand National. However, there is one more fence to jump (31). The race has run in Pardubice since 1874 and Železník remains its most successful champion, having won four times. The Velká pardubická is the perfect race for French, German, Czech and Polish horses to compete for big money. The last English jockey to win here was Charlie Mann on Irish horse It’s A Snip in 1995.


Maryland Hunt Cup

America doesn’t really do steeplechases but there are a few around, called Timber Races. And the Maryland Hunt Cup is probably the biggest one – and the one most aligned with the Grand National. The race features 22 wooden fences – difference in design to UK and Irish fences – and is run at Worthington Valley. Vintage Vinnie won the 2021 and 2022 Maryland Hunt Cups, setting track records on both occasions.

Swedish Grand National

The Swedish Grand National is billed as the richest jump race in Scandinavia, as well as its most challenging. There are 16 fences to vault here, and the race takes place in June at the Österängen near Strömsholm Royal Castle. It’s not common for jumps races to run in the summer but the ground remains soft enough for the horses to compete. The winning prize comes in at around £9,000.

Australian Grand Annual

This is probably the closest Australia gets to a “grand national”. The Grand Annual runs at Warrnambool, Victoria every May and consists of 33 jumps, which is more than any other race in the word. This is a gruelling steeplechase as the weather can be hot, and the ground hard. Al Garhood (2010 and 2011) was the last horse to successfully defend its crown.



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