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Sunday, January 27, 2008


Entries for the 2008 John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree close at noon on Tuesday, January 29, a day earlier than normal because of the new entry system brought in by the British Horseracing Authority this year.

The world’s most famous chase takes place on Saturday, April 5, and has boosted prize money of £800,000, £100,000 more than last year and representing a 14 per cent increase.

The John Smith’s Grand National offers the most valuable prize in jump racing. The next richest jump race in Britain and Ireland is the £450,000 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, while America’s top prize, the Breeders’ Cup Grand National, is worth US$300,000. The only other jump race in the world with a similar value is Japan’s Nakayama Grand Jump which has prize money of 170,400,000 yen in 2008.

Over £450,000 goes to the winner of the John Smith’s Grand National, nearly £170,000 to the second and just short of £85,000 to the third, plus prizes continuing down to the eighth horse home. The seventh and eighth prizes, of £5,280 and £2,720 respectively, are new this year.

The John Smith’s Grand National, for horses aged six and upwards with a rating of at least 110, has a maximum field of 40 and is run over 30 fences and four and a half miles.

The 2008 entries are released at noon on Wednesday, January 30, while the weights for the John Smith’s Grand National will be announced at a media lunch in London on Tuesday, February 5.

The great handicap chase, won last year by the Gordon Elliott-trained Silver Birch, is the highlight of Aintree’s thrilling three-day meeting, which commences on Thursday, April 3.

The John Smith’s Grand National, along with the John Smith’s Topham Chase which takes place on Friday, April 4, and has an entry deadline of Tuesday, March 18, are the only early-closing races at the meeting. All the other 19 contests over the three days close at the six-day stage.

Prize money at the 2008 meeting is a record £2,560,000.

Julian Thick, Aintree’s Managing Director, commented: “We wish to remind owners and trainers that the John Smith’s Grand National closes on a Tuesday for the first time.

“The closing date is this Tuesday (January 29) and we are looking forward to another great set of entries.

“Aintree is delighted John Smith’s is sponsoring the world’s most recognised and popular jump race for the fourth time and that we have been able to raise the prize money to £800,000, making the John Smith’s Grand National the richest jump race. It is our best intention to increase the prize money to £1 million by 2010.”

Tickets and hospitality packages are still available for all three days of the meeting within the grandstands and the Tattersalls Enclosure - telephone 0151 522 2929 or 0151 522 2911 (hospitality).

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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