# How the Grand National Handicapping System Works
We take a closer look at the handicapping system of the Grand National, the UK’s most prestigious and oldest horse race. The Grand National offers a level playing field for all participating horses, regardless of their ratings, by allowing the lower-rated horses to run with less weight than their highly-rated competitors.
## The Basics of Handicapping
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) determines the handicapping formula for the Grand National, with the lowest-rated horses carrying a few pounds less weight than their highly-rated counterparts. All horses participating in the race must carry a minimum weight of 10st (including the weight of the jockey).
## The Top-Weighted Horses
The joint top-weighted horses in the Grand National are Any Second Now, Conflated, and Hewick, all of which are carrying 11st 12lb. The rest of the handicap weight is worked out from this top weight. It’s worth noting that the last horse to win carrying the top weight was Red Rum in 1973 when the top handicap was set at 12st. In 2015, Many Clouds won carrying 11st 9oz, which was the heaviest handicap for a winner in recent history. Last year’s winner, Noble Yeats, carried just 10st 10oz.
## The Weather Forecast
Given the mid-April date of the Grand National, the weather in the North West of England is likely to be changeable. Last year, for example, the race was run under fine overhead conditions with the going rated as good to soft, amid light scattered showers. However, it’s impossible to predict the weather accurately this far out from the race.
## Grand National Tickets
Tickets for some areas of Aintree on Saturday have already sold out. However, as of mid-March, some tickets are still available. Tickets range in price from £40 for a child ticket in the ‘Festival Zone’ to £85 for adults. Hospitality tickets are also available, ranging in price from £405 to £1,095. Car parking costs an additional £30. You can purchase all tickets on the racecourse’s official website.
## The Horses Running in the 2023 Grand National
As of yet, the 40-runner lineup for the Grand National has not yet been confirmed. However, you can find a longlist of potential runners on The Telegraph’s website. We will publish the official 40 entries, plus our sweepstake kit nearer to the race.
## How Horses are Picked for the Grand National
Only horses that meet certain qualifications are allowed to race in the Grand National. Among the qualifications, they must have an Official Rating (OR) of 125 or more, be aged 7 or older, have completed three or more steeplechases, have completed one steeplechase in the current season, and have finished between 1st and 4th in a steeplechase over 2 miles 7½ furlongs or further.
## Latest Grand National News
According to trainer Ted Walsh, “absolutely shocked” after Any Second Now was given the joint top-weight for this year’s Grand National, Any Second Now has finished third and second in the last two renewals and will bid to make it third time lucky under the welter burden of 11st 12lb. Walsh feels that Any Second Now would need to be an exceptional horse to add his name to the roll of honour.
As far as spectators are concerned, the biggest change for this year’s Grand National is that the dress code for Aintree has been dropped. The Jockey Club, which owns Aintree, wants to make racing more accessible and has therefore decided to permit racegoers to come in whatever clothes they feel most comfortable. In the past, racing’s rules have required men to wear suit jackets in certain enclosures, even during heatwaves, with jeans and shorts often frowned upon. Now, however, the only banned clothing is “offensive fancy dress” and football shirts.
Overall, the Grand National is an iconic horse race that provides an exciting and level playing field for all participating horses. The handicapping system used during the race ensures that all horses have an equal chance, regardless of their ratings. And, with the dress code for Aintree dropped this year, the race is more accessible and enjoyable than ever before.#Grand #National #Race #dates #times #horses #running #latest #odds