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Keeping the Turf Tip Top

​The Aintree racecourse used for the Grand National is generally considered to be one of the most challenging for both horse and rider, but what is less known is how difficult it is for the grounds staff to actually construct. At over four miles long, the horse is required to have incredible stamina, while also being able to jump over the sixteen fences on the course. Not only do they have to jump over the sixteen fences, but they are also required to jump over fourteen of the sixteen for a second time in the National.
The fences were changed in 2013 to become more horse friendly as the previous solid timber frames had no give in them and were more likely to cause injuries. The forty horses taking on this challenging course will all be vying to become the favourite in the Grand National 2018 betting, with Blaklion the current favourite. The fences that these forty have to jump over have been changed to movable plastic frames with plastic birch which is much more flexible and less likely to cause injury if a horse were to hit it. Each of these new fences takes around two days to build and dress and the entire course is takes around three weeks to prepare.
​The dressing of the fences requires 150 tonnes of spruce, which is obtained from the Lake District and the course has had three bore holes drilled in order to provide enough water to cover the course. With the amount of effort that goes in to preparing the Aintree racecourse for the Grand National, we have created an infographic as shown below which looks at everything that goes in to completing the course for the horses and jockeys.