Since 1839 the National has been run 172 times – only missing three years during the First World War, five years in the Second World War, and the disastrous voided race of 1993. It may be the world’s most famous steeplechase, but last month Aintree racecourse owner The Jockey Club announced that the 173rd running will not take place due to the pandemic. Bookmakers are now hoping to raise money for the NHS by running a Virtual Grand National using computer analysis.
And The Jockey Club has launched My Stake For Their Sake, a campaign inviting punters to donate their annual stake to NHS Charities Together.
Yesterday Ellie Orton of NHS Charities Together said: “We’re thrilled to receive this support for the NHS.
“We’re living in an unprecedented time where people coming together like this makes a huge difference.
“We’re so proud and in awe of NHS staff and volunteers as they work tirelessly to save lives and we want to ensure their wellbeing is paramount too.
“Let’s raise as much as possible to support NHS staff and volunteers putting themselves on the line every day for us.”
The initiative was launched just 24 hours after The Jockey Club said it would donate 10,000 tickets to the NHS and social care sector in Merseyside for the first day of the 2021 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree.
That day – April 8 – will also be renamed Liverpool’s NHS Day. Last night Dickon White, regional director of Jockey Club Racecourses come together to help raise crucial funds for the NHS by encouraging Grand National fans to donate their usual bet to NHS Charities Together.
“Our amazing NHS staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to care for Covid-19 patients, and we want to do our bit to show our gratitude and let them to know that racing is behind them.
“We’re obviously extremely disappointed to have to cancel the National this year, but we can all get behind this cause.”
Donations can be made by visiting NHS Charities Together’s Virgin Money Giving page while further information about NHS Charities Together can be found online at www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk