Grand National Anorak

Welcome to the Grand National Anorak Pages - Aintree and the Grand National from 1946

2016 - a great renewal. The Last Samuri leading 100-1 shot Vics Canvas over the last with eventual winner Rule The World and teenager David Mullins poised to strike. This was an amazing achievement for a horse who had never won a steeplechase before. It was also his nineteen year old jockeys first ride in the race. (I do not own the copyright to this image please email me if you object to this being used and I will remove it immediately)

Welcome to the pages of the Grand National Anorak (Chris to his friends). 

These pages are designed to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the Grand National and racing at Aintree (or perhaps things you didn`t need to know). But first the "health warning" . For me the Grand National is a visual experience. If it is not recorded on film or radio then as far as I am concerned it did not happen. So, if you are looking for a lively debate on whether the National was first run in 1839 or 1836 at Maghull (or perhaps 1836 at Aintree) then this site isn`t for you. 

This website is dedicated to the Grand National from 1946 onwards which has always been my area of interest. I have tried to look at the National from all angles and hopefully you will find some obscure fact that you were not previously aware of.

The site is completely unofficial and a light hearted, sideways glance at the race that most of love so much.

I would like to thank Paul Davies of the Complete Record, Jane Clarke curator of the Aintree museum, Alan Johnson, Mick Mutlow (a fellow Hammer), Tim Cox, John PInfold & the late Reg Green who have all at some stage over the past ten years helped with my research.

Chris - April 2007 (updated April 2015)


The Grand National Anorak website was just the beginning. The aim has always been to put together a comprehensive analysis of the National since the war.
I have been in the process of  updating my various National sites which can be found at the following web addresses. - Everything you need to know about the Grand National and racing at Aintree between 1946-59. - Analysis of Aintree and the National between 1960-69. As well as an in-depth analysis of the National the site looks at the supporting races run  over the National fences (including the lost Molyneux and Becher Chases) and lists all National runners who ran over the Mildmay course. - A similar site dedicated to 1970-79 which also looks at the development of the National meeting and the new jumps races that were introduced in 1976 and 1977. There is even space for a look at the last flat meetings run at Aintree and the one-off revival of the Autumn meeting in October 1972 - Celebrate the first ten years of the twenty first century with not only an in-depth analysis of the races but also biographies of every horse who raced in the Nationals of the decade.

NEW FOR 2017

As I hope some people revisit this site form time to time I do try and keep things interesting by updating and adding new features as and when I think of them. Having enjoyed one of the best Nationals of modern times there is less of the rants this year and perhaps some more obscure additions. I have renamed several pages and the "Musings "page now features an analysis of winning number cloths which taught me that, just like performing second in the Eurovision Song Contest if you are at number 3 on the race card then you have no chance of winning. I also have analysed the result of ITV4s "Virtual Grand National" comparing it to the real thing (why ? I have no idea). Gone is an analysis of fallers 1990-2012 as to be frank such data is now obsolete. 

The renamed "Winners and losers" page this year will concentrate on those horses who finished last as well.

Chris - April 2017 

The Changing Face of the Natonal

Now we have enjoyed five of the new style Nationals I felt it was time to compare , to see whether statistically the changes have had any effect at all. As I intend to retire after 2019 I have compared the seven year period before the ground-breaking modifications in 2013 .


 2006-12% of runners2013-% of runners
 1st13 6.19 7 3.54
 2nd13 6.19 4 2.02
 3rd 9 4.28 3 1.52
 4th12 5.71
 5th 5 2.38 1 0.51
 B2110 8 4.04
 F 4 1.90 1 0.51
 CT12  5.71 9 4.55
 V 6 2.86 5 2.53
10th 4 1.90 3 1.52
11th 6 2.86 1 0.51
12th 3 1.43 3 1.52
13th 1 0.48 1 0.51
14th 2 0.95 3 1.52
Ch 6 2.86 5 2.53

Interestingly the Canal turn appears to be the most formidable fence on the National course these days and the (formerly) notorious fourth fence the most benign


2006-12% of runners2013-% of runners
Finishers10148.5 8944.95

Surprisingly the percentage of finishers has dropped by 4% which can be down to changing attitudes of the modern day rider who nowadays will put the welfare of the horse before glory of completing the course. What is noticeable is the increase in horses dropping out after the third last. For instance between 1969 & 1989 only two horses pulled up in the closing stages and one fell at the last. Between 1990 & 2005 that had more than doubled with 5 pulling up and 3 falling. 

Since 2006 the amount has increased dramatically (32) as the table below shows - if attitudes had't changed the current record of 23 finishers would have been smashed in 2017. I think it is fair to suggest that the record is unlikely to be broken. 

Dropped outFinishers 
2006 1 9  (10)
2007 4 12 (16)
2008 215 (17)
2009 217 (19)
2010 314 (17)
2011 219 (21)
2013 4 17 (21)
2014 1 18 (19)
2015 319 (22)
2016 1 16 (17)
2017 919 (28)


Number of fatalities - 2013 onwards - NIL (0%) - and long may that continue

About the author

I hope that some of you do return to this site occasionally so you should all know by now that the Grand National Anorak was born in 1967.  As a child all he wanted to be was a commentator but as he never worked out how to go about it he does something in the law instead. He was briefly in the early noughties a Point-to-Point commentator on the South East circuit and although the offers of work dried up at least he gave it a go. He has appeared on "Grand National Grandstand" three times (he is the chap in the hat in the crowd during the Tracey Piggott interview in 1994, wearing the same hat for the Carl Llewellyn interview in 1996 and is sporting a dodgy bow-tie in 1997 when Charlie Fenwick is interviewed) & the BBCs "Grand National Tales" broadcast in 1997. He has no connections within racing whatsoever but did once hold a door open for Paul Nicholls at Lingfield. He is married to the ever lovely and patient Bridget and lives in deepest Kent.

He is also currently trying to visit every racecourse in the UK and after visiting Ayr in February 2017 only has three to go.

Away from racing he is a frustrated West Ham supporter and used to sing in a punk band. Amongst his other non-racing hobbies are eating and  drinking Italian wine.

His one regret is that he lives so far away from Aintree.

Contact the National Anorak

I hope you will enjoy this site. If you do please sign my guestbook. I am always interested to hear from any National enthusiasts. Let me know your favourite National hero and race. If you have any specific questions please feel free to e-mail me at


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