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NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP: 1 in 5 won’t take covid test following symptoms & gov race review “gaslighting” minorities

 

The 2021 Grand National this weekend is one of the most popular events in the horse racing calendar and has been throughout history.

This year's race will go ahead as planned without fans following a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Usually, more than 150,000 people attend Aintree over three days for the big meeting. None will be allowed in this year.

Over half a billion people are thought to watch the race across the world, which has been televised since 1960.

So what makes the Grand National such a popular event? We look back at the history of the race to see why it's as big as it is.

We had the help of horse racing journalist Neil Watson as he cast his eye on the history of the race and what makes the Grand National so special.

He believes that the National is so popular due to the fact that anybody can win regardless of their background.

"It's such a wide-open event," Neil told Local TV. "You've got 40 horses, 40 jockeys - it's a race where anyone that owns a horse that's good enough to have a go has got a good a chance as any."

"In theory, because it's a handicap, all 40 have got a chance of winning. That's how the race is framed."

The Grand National gets underway at 5.15pm on Saturday afternoon.


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