Grand National 2014 provides exciting spectacle

This year’s Grand National provided the excitement expected with 150,000 spectators swooping into Aintree over the weekend.

One of the most open of all of the Grand National’s saw Teaforthree and Double Seven highly tipped throughout the build up to the prestigious race; however, it was Pineau De Re who pushed the favourites aside as he stormed to victory.

The race started with controversy, as three false starts saw many horses and jockeys disjointed, which led to a loss of concentration during the big race. The drama continued throughout, as 22 of the 40 runners failed to complete the course.

Jockey Leighton Aspell hadn’t been tipped for the win by the bookies, after only announcing his return to the sport after a short retirement in late 2008. However the Grand National is renowned for plucking its winner from anywhere and thanks to a focused ride on Pineau De Re, the 37-year-old was able to claim the prize.

This was not Aspell’s first Grand National, having previously participated in 2003 and coming in second. Since then the jockey has had little success, and ridden horses without much hope for success.

"I've had a few other rides, but since 2003 this was the first time I'd had a ride with a live chance," Aspell said. "After the Cheltenham injuries [to several leading riders] there was a bit of jockey-hopping, and Sam Twiston-Davies, who rode him at Cheltenham [last month] got on Tidal Bay [who unseated his jockey at the first Canal Turn].

"There [was a] false start which [got] the jockeys and horses up on their feet but he took it very well. Then once we were over the first two or three, the pace was only medium and I found myself closer than I'd planned. But then on the second circuit I had a lovely passage all the way, got close to a couple but that's the National. I could plot my route from three out, and I aimed for the middle of the last and that was my route home."

All of the horses and jockeys returned safe after the race - after adjustments to the Aintree fences were made due to fatalities in previous years – this news was well received by the chief executive of the World Horse Welfare, Roly Owers.

Owers said: "Aintree can take great credit for demonstrating that considered safety improvements need not detract from the thrill and drama of the world's most famous horse race."

Overall, it as an exciting spectacle that saw an outsider swoop in and take the prize over the favourites. Balthazar King finished second whilst highly backed Double Seven came in at third.

Virtual Horse Racing runs all year round

The Grand National is over for another year, however, you can still play virtual horse racing all year round.

This online gaming resource gives punters the opportunity to place bets on animated horses and jockeys competing on a virtual track, with many online bookies offering odds on simulated races. At virtual horse racing you can find which book makers have the best odds and even money saving sign on bonuses.