Grand National Trial

James Dooley avatar

Written By:


The Haydock Park Grand National Trial is a Grade 3 handicap over three and a half miles in February.

The race has been run under various titles and has been regarded as a significant trial for Aintree since Red Rum won here in 1975.

Other notable winners include Cool Ground (1992), Party Politics (1993) and Master Oats (1994).

Find out more about the Haydock Park Grand National Trial:

Grand National Trial

Race Overview – The Haydock Park Grand National Trail

Horses five years old and older may enter the Grand National Trial, a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase.

Twenty-two fences must be jumped during the race, which is raced at Haydock Park over a distance of around 3 miles and 4 and a half furlongs (3 miles, 4 furlongs, and 97 yards, or 5,721 metres).

This race is a major race in February.

If you are looking for more racing tips for events taking place at Aintree Racecourse then check out our Aintree racing tips page.

For all Aintree races, our finest racing tipsters give free horse racing tips!

Famous Haydock Park Grand National Trial Winners

The race was first run in 1947 and was later run as the Greenall Whitley Gold Cup. It did not adopt the title of Grand National Trial until 1996.

Red Rum is of course a Grand National legend. He won this race under 12 stone in 1975 having already won the Aintree marathon in 1973 and 1974. He gained his record third victory in 1977.

The race produced a trio of top-class winners from 1992 to 1994. Cool Ground (1992) and Master Oats (1994) both went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup for Toby Balding and Adrian Maguire.

Master Oats won this race with only 10st 2lbs on his back but improved rapidly to become the leading chaser in Britain and Ireland, also landing the Cheltenham feature.

Party Politics had won the Grand National in 1992 and won here in 1993. He started favourite for the void National that year but returned to Aintree to finish runner-up in 1995.

Other notable winners of the Grand National Trial include Suny Bay (1997), Miko De Beauchene (2008), Silver By Nature (2010, 2011) and Bristol De Mai (2022).

Grand National Trial Previous Result

Key form races for Haydock Park Grand National Trial

The key form race for the Grand National Trial has been the Welsh Grand National. Three of the last twelve winners ran in that race last time out.

Only four of the twelve winners had been successful on their most recent outing.

The race has not provided any clues to the outcome at Aintree in recent seasons.

Four of the last twelve winners ran at Aintree but none of them reached the frame.

In fact, there is an argument to suggest that this race can damage a horse’s prospects at Aintree. It can be quite a gruelling contest and none of the last twelve winners were even placed next time out.

Only two favourites have won this race in the past twelve seasons; Giles Cross (2012) and Well Refreshed (2013). Bristol De Mai (2022) was awarded the race after finishing second as the 11-2 second favourite.

Smooth Stepper (2020) was the longest-priced winner in recent years at 33-1.

Rigadin De Beauchene (2014) won at 16-1 while Silver By Nature (2011) returned at 10-1.

There is no real age bias in this race with horses winning from 8 to 11.

The last seven-year-old to win was Heltornic in 2007.

Haydock Park Grand National Trial – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Neville Crump and Fred Rimell both trained the winner of this race on three occasions.

Lucinda Russell joined the illustrious company with her three more recent victories; Silver By Nature (2010, 2011) and Lie Forrit (2015).

Peter Buchanan was in the saddle for all three races, equalling the record of Ken White (1969, 1970 and 1972).

Betting on the Haydock Park Grand National Trial

The Haydock Park Grand National Trial usually attracts a big field and the winner can be difficult to find.

In terms of a trial for Aintree, it may be that this is too gruelling a contest and it seems to take its toll on the winner.

Facts about the Grand National Trial

  • The Grand National Trial is a National Hunt Steeplechase in the United Kingdom for five-year-old and above horses.
  • The race is run over a distance of around 3 miles and 5 furlongs (5,906 metres), and during its running, there are 22 fences to be jumped.
  • The race is scheduled to take place each year in February at Haydock Park Racecourse.

Summary of the Grand National Trial

Thank you for reading our Grand National Trial page.

We have looked at facts and stats about the race, so you can make an informed decision before placing a bet or just wanting to enjoy the race.

Here are all of February’s horse racing related posts: