The biggest betting event on the sporting calendar is finally coming to East Anglia, it has been revealed.
The Randox Health Grand National will relocate to Yarmouth Racecourse from 2021 ending it’s 180-year association with Aintree. It is a notable victory for campaigners who have spent the last seven years tirelessly promoting the region’s sporting heritage.
The BHA will formally announce the switch following the conclusion of this year’s renewal on April 4th. Tiger Roll will go into the contest as the favourite once again and will be searching for an unprecendented third success in the iconic steeplechase. He is likely to be amongst many people’s 2020 Grand National betting tips, although whether he can continue his remarkable run on the east coast remains to be seen.
Many trainers are reportedly in favour of the move as it enables them to holiday in the region prior to the event. Handlers such as Willie Mullins, Phillips Hobbs and Donald McCain have already spoken of their plans to visit ‘irresistible’ Norwich and sample some of the cities most notorious watering holes.
Yarmouth racecourse exclusively stages flat racing during the summer months, however volunteers will now spend the first few weeks of the year building a series of challenging fences using a variety of local foliage. Competitors will be required to complete four laps of the track and must clear a number of bespoke obstacles such as ‘The Delia’ and ‘Mustard Mount’.
Although the capacity at the historic racecourse is significantly lower than its Merseyside counterpart, track officials have recently struck a deal to screen the contest at the nearby Caravan Club and are also planning to erect a big screen on the North Dene Dunes. This will allow locals and tourists to enjoy all of the action whilst simultaneously boosting the local economy.
The venue attracted a variety of high-profile names in 2019 including former Spandeau Ballet man Martin Kemp and more high-profile bookings are expected to follow this year. Zig and Zag, Homes Under the Hammer’s Martin Roberts and Henry Hoover will all play DJ sets on Grand National day with further names to be announced in due course.
Extra trains and buses will be running throughout the weekend in order to help ferry the legions of racegoers around the region. The A47 will also be widened in order to accommodate additional traffic ahead of the event.
The move has been widely praised by horse racing fans who are looking forward to seeing their favourite chasers tackle the undulations of Yarmouth Racecourse. The track beat off stiff competition from Fakenham and Market Rasen to sign the lucrative contract which will enable them to host the world-famous steeplechase until at least 2026. Aintree’s loss is Yarmouth’s gain and the local area is likely to benefit significantly from the BHA’s decision to move the greatest steeplechase in the world to East Anglia.