Begun in 1898 by several young men who wanted to compete, but were too young to enter in the Maryland Hunt Cup, the Grand National Steeplechase became a standard in Maryland Timber Racing. The two races are often compared, and do share many similarities. But if the Hunt Cup is the most demanding timber race, the Grand National is the most demanding three mile timber race—a critical difference, as the shorter distance means racing faster over eighteen unyielding obstacles. Since the race moved to the current course in 1946, there have been sixteen horses to win both races, but there have been fifteen Hunt Cup winners to start the Grand National and never win. The Grand National Steeplechase is a truly unique race with its own distinct set of challenges.
So many great equine names of the sport have graced the Grand National, but only a few have left their mark with the distinction of having won the race three times. They are: Inshore, Winton, Landing Party, Mountain Dew, Buck Jakes, and Welter Weight. With his fourth win last year, Welter Weight joined only one other in winning more than three times. The other, a six time winner and still reigning king of the Grand National, is Mountain Dew. Eight starts, six wins, two seconds and never a faller over 144 fences, he beat horses that had won or would win the Hunt Cup. He would make history in that race as well.
In 2012, the Grand National Steeplechase celebrates its 110th running. Grand National Day, the second to last Saturday in April, has been and will continue to be one of the most highly anticipated days of the year for all enthusiasts of the sport.