What are the race conditions for the Grand National?
In recent years, in the interests of safety, the race conditions for the Grand National – particularly those relating to the eligibility of horses and jockeys – have been modified more than once. Nowadays, to be eligible to run in the National, horses must be at least seven years old and have an official handicap rating of 125 or more, according to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). Furthermore, horses must have competed in three or more steeplechases during their careers, including at least one during the current season, and have finished first, second, third or fourth in a steeplechase over an official distance of 2 miles 7½ furlongs or beyond. To be eligible to ride in the National, jockeys, whether amateur or professional, must have ridden at least 15 winners – of which at least ten must have been in steeplechases – under the Rules of Racing in Britain or Ireland. Other changes to the race conditions for the Grand National since the turn of the century include lowering the maximum weight to be carried from 12st to 11st 12lb in 2002 and from 11st 12lb to 11st 10lb in 2009; as previously, no penalties are applied once the weights have been published.