From support act to thrilling highlight: A short history of the Aintree Bowl 

From support act to thrilling highlight: A short history of the Aintree Bowl image reflecting horse racing in black and white. Photo by Pardeep Bhakar on Unsplash

The 2023 Grand National is almost upon us as punters from around the UK and indeed the globe get ready to make the trip to Aintree Racecourse for the world’s most iconic steeplechase. Of course, this isn’t the only attraction of the three-day festival, with the Aintree Bowl also one of the highlights of the event. Before we get into the intriguing history of this race, let’s first look at the odds on the favourite horses tipped to win it in 2023.

The runners and riders for the 2023 Aintree Bowl

As things stand, the odds on the Aintree Bowl list Ahoy Senor as the outright favourite to win at a price of 11/4 with Bravemansgame only narrowly behind at 14/5. 

Whilst these are the two current frontrunners to win the Aintree Bowl, it’s worth keeping in mind that the latest Grand National betting tips for the festival will provide an up-to-date prediction on the eve of the race. In other words, if anything changes between now and then, the latest tips will be the best place to go to get an updated picture of what might happen over the three miles and one furlong that the Aintree Bowl is run over.

Undoubtedly, this is a race known for its drama and entertainment which is why it is one of the standout events on any upcoming fixture list. But when did it first begin and why?


The Aintree Bowl comes to life 

The Aintree Bowl event was first introduced as a Listed race to the National Hunt calendar almost 40 years ago in 1984. At the time, it was seen as a relatively minor spectacle compared to other major National Hunt races such as the popular Cheltenham Gold Cup which consistently attracted famous faces from around the world.

Over the years, however, the Aintree Bowl race would steadily grow in prestige and popularity. So much so that in 1991, this consistent rise to prominence was officially recognized as the race was elevated to Grade 2 status. Then, the moment the race organizers were waiting for eventually came in 2010 – some 19 years later after the last status upgrade, when the race was finally given its current Grade 1 status.

Today, the truth is that the race is considered one of the most important and eye-catching National Hunt races in the UK, attracting the best horses from around the world.

What was the original idea behind creating the Aintree Bowl?

When the Aintree Bowl race was introduced back in 1984, it was initially designed to serve as a consolation event for horses that had been beaten in the Cheltenham Gold Cup a month before. It was, if you will, seen as another bite at the cherry for vanquished horses, trainers, and jockeys.

However, over time and as the race grew in popularity and importance, the Aintree Bowl evolved into its own significant horse racing event with unique characteristics. In essence, it was only a matter of years after its inception that the Aintree Bowl was regarded as anything but a consolation prize for the Gold Cup having developed its own identity.

As touched on, the Aintree Bowl is now one of the key dates in the National Hunt racing diary and serves as one of the main attractions of the Grand National Festival.

Feature image: Photo by Pardeep Bhakar on Unsplash

Related posts