The Grand National has been a sporting institution since its inaugural running in 1839. Rather aptly a horse called Lottery won the very first race and Captain Becher fell at the brook which dissects the racecourse, and of course the rest is history!

In those early days, horses jumped a stone wall, crossed over fields and finished over two hurdles, but fortunately health and safety and the welfare of horses has made the contest a much fairer spectacle in the subsequent years.

The Grand National has made household names out of the likes of Red Rum, Aldaniti, Ginger McCain and Jenny Pitman, whilst fences such as Becher’s Brook, The Chair and the Canal Turn are that familiar to worldwide audiences that they regularly feature in general knowledge quizzes around the globe.

In honour of world’s greatest steeplechase, here is our very own Grand National Quiz. Let’s see how you get on?

 

Grand National Quiz: Questions

  1. Sir Anthony McCoy finally won the 2010 Grand National aboard Don’t Push It, but how many unsuccessful attempts did he have prior to his victory?
  2. Who was the first female jockey to complete the Grand National?
  3. Complete the missing runner from the 1988 result 1.Rhyme ‘N’ Reason 2. ______ 3.Monanore 4.West Tip
  4. Which winner of the race, since the turn of the millennium, was named after his owner’s holiday home?
  5. The legendary Red Rum was successful in 1973, ‘74 and ’77 but where did Ginger McCain do most of his training with him?
  6. Which horse holds the record for the fastest winning time in the Grand National?
  7. How many times did jockey Paul Moloney finish in the top four places without winning?
  8. Which horse “won” the void Grand National in 1993?
  9. How many female trainers in total have won the Grand National?
  10. Lots of interesting names have been allocated to the Grand National fences over the years, but what is the fence jumped as the 3rd and the 19th know as?
     


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Time for the answers...

Sir Anthony McCoy finally won the 2010 Grand National aboard Don’t Push It, but how many unsuccessful attempts did he have prior to his victory?

Answer: McCoy won the National on his 15th attempt, so the answer is 14. McCoy’s win was also a just reward for his legions of fans that had kept the faith with him through thick and thin over the previous 14 years.

Who was the first female jockey to complete the Grand National?

Answer:  Geraldine Rees became the first woman to complete the course in 1982 when riding a horse called Cheers. The pairing managed to finish the race in eighth and last place.

Complete the missing runner from the 1988 result: 1.Rhyme ‘N’ Reason 2. ______ 3.Monanore 4.West Tip

Answer: Durham Edition. The Arthur Stephenson trained Durham Edition was to miss out twice, firstly to Rhyme ‘N’ Reason then again in 1990 to Mr Frisk.

Which winner of the race, since the turn of the millennium, was named after his owner’s holiday home?

Answer:  Named after his owner Bernard Carroll’s holiday home in Portugal, Numbersixvalverde gave jockey Niall “slippers” Madden a thrilling win on his first Grand National ride, aged just 20, in 2006.

The legendary Red Rum was successful in 1973, ‘74 and ’77 but where did Ginger McCain do most of his training with him?

Answer: People have been captivated by the tale of the people’s champion who exercised on Southport Beach for many years, and in 2020 a mural was commissioned by Sefton Council in his honour.

It was painted by Paul Curtis and can be found by the promenade on a gable end wall at the top of Scarisbrick Avenue, Southport.

Which horse holds the record for the fastest winning time in the Grand National?

Answer: The horse with the fastest time was the Kim Bailey-trained and Marcus Armytage-ridden Mr Frisk in 1990. He completed the course in a staggering 8 minutes and 47.8 seconds on going described as firm.

Could we see a faster time in the 2020 Virtual Grand National this weekend?

How many times did jockey Paul Moloney finish in the top four places without winning?

Answer: Maloney finished in the first four seven times and came closest to success aboard Cappa Bleu, who was the runner-up to Auroras Encore in 2013.

Remarkably all of those seven places were in the colours of William and Angela Rucker, who owned his other two mounts, State Of Play and Alvarado.

Which horse “won” the void Grand National in 1993?

Answer: Esha Ness. The 1993 Grand National was declared void after two false starts reduced the race to a horse racing farce.

When 30 of the 39 riders failed to realise a false start had been called and set off around the racetrack, the Jockey Club had no option but to void the race.

Esha Ness, a 50-1 outsider trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by John White, was called home by Sir Peter O'Sullevan as the winner of "the National that surely isn't".

How many female trainers have won the Grand National?

Answer: Jenny Pitman, Venetia Williams, Sue Smith and Lucinda Russell have all saddled Grand National winners, making a total of four women in all.

Jenny Pitman became the first woman to train a Grand National winner when Corbiere was successful in 1983. She then gained compensation for the 1993 debacle when Royal Athlete became her second winner, at odds of 40/1 in the Grand National betting.

The next Grand National winner trained by a woman was Venetia Williams’ 100/1-shot Mon Mome who was successful in 2009.

Sue Smith became the third woman to join that esteemed list of female trainers when Auroras Encore came home first in 2013, whilst Lucinda Russell became the last female name on the Grand National’s roll of honour when her One For Arthur took the 2017 spoils.

Lots of interesting names have been allocated to the Grand National fences over the years, but what is the fence jumped as the 3rd and the 19th know as?

Answer: At 5ft high, this open ditch is also known as ‘Westhead’ after the late Steve Westhead who was one of Aintree’s fence builders and worked at Aintree Racecourse in the 1970’s.

 

*Credit for the main photo belongs to Jon Super / AP Photo*

About the Author
By
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 25 renewals of the Grand National.