April 6, 2015
By Simon Jackson, HorseTalkUK and Chris Quinn, Great British Racing
HorseTalkUK has teamed up with Great British Racing to find an array of venues for London sports fans to watch the Crabbie’s Grand National on Saturday.
The world’s greatest steeplechase attracts a worldwide audience of many millions of viewers who annually tune in to watch the unique spectacle of the Grand National unfold at Aintree each year.
The £1million marathon enticed a peak audience of 8.5 million in the UK alone in 2014 (Channel 4 report) to witness the little fancied Pineau De Re land a 25-1 upset for trainer Dr Richard Newland and jockey Leighton Aspell.
Pineau De Re once again looks set to take his place in the field of 40 runners for the 168th running of the Grand National and Great British Racing has unearthed a handful of suggested places for HorseTalkUK readers to watch the big race.
Where to watch the Grand National in London
With 10 televisions – including a giant 15ft cinema screen – on display, there is no chance of you missing any of the action across any of the sports.
Tables can be booked if you fancy a nibble throughout the day and there are global craft beers and cocktails on hand to wash down the day’s sporting feast with.
The Running Horse & The Whip, Mayfair
The oldest public house in Mayfair is going all out on the racing front this year. It was packed out for Cheltenham Gold Cup day and will again be having a giant projector screen showing all the day’s racing.
Champagne packages and reserved tables are available, with a minimum £100 bar spend required for the latter. All major race meetings throughout the year will be shown, whilst equine events such as a milliners evening continue the pub’s racing association in between.
Food is available and keep an eye out for the ‘jockey’s whips’, better known to you and I as chips.
The Sydney Arms, Mayfair
As part of a racing club which owns shares in horses running on the Flat circuit, you can be sure The Sydney Arms will be one of the hottest tickets in town for the Grand National.
The pub – partly owned by Channel 4 Racing presenter Emma Spencer – has six screens (they may even set more up outside if the weather is nice) so there is no chance that you’ll miss any of the action. Tables are also available, but you’ll have to be quick to snap one up.
Race sponsors Crabbie’s will be present too, handing out some FREE samples of their upcoming range – especially handy if you have backed a loser and are running low on funds.
The Sporting Page, Chelsea
When a pub has a picture of a horse on its front canopy, you can be quite sure that they’ll be showing the biggest race in the world.
Four screens – including one on a giant projector – will show all the action from Aintree and there are six cask ales available to accompany.
They will also be running a sweepstake in the pub, too, so you could strike lucky – just don’t offer to buy everybody a drink with your new found fortune.
Don’t fancy heading to Central London?
Proud Camden, Camden
If finding a pub to house you and your group of mates on a Saturday afternoon is a difficult task, your shrewdest decision of the day could be to head to Proud.
It is a celebrity hotspot by night, but during the day the Grade II listed former horse hospital features seven private booths (or stables, as they’re referred to, naturally) with 50 inch screens to squeeze in up to 20 of your pals.
With stables named after the likes of former Grand National winner Red Rum, there is no more fitting a place to watch the biggest race in the world.
Bison & Bird, Clapham
If the Grand National is not the only sporting event on your mind, then a bar with a bit of flexibility could be the answer.
Bison & Bird sits opposite Clapham Common tube station and has five televisions and a new HD projector screen, meaning you can watch the racing, keep an eye on your football team’s score and be in place for the Oxford vs Cambridge boat race afterwards.
With all the sport on offer, it is probably a good idea to reserve a spot.
The Baring – Hackney/Islington
Despite being a sports pub on the border of Hackney and Islington, The Baring retains a sense of being a local pub.
One large screen and one regular screen will be showing the Grand National and they’ll also be running a sweepstake for you lucky lot to get involved with.
If you’re inspired by the day, then you could join their football or cricket teams – or you could just continue heading to the pub instead. Yes, that sounds preferable.
Broadway Bar & Grill
With Chelsea not playing until Sunday, this usually manic Saturday pub should be a little quieter and prime for taking advantage of.
With eight screens dotted around the pub providing full circle viewing it is the perfect spot for owls, but us mere humans may have to swivel around to find the action we’re after, such is the offering available.
As the name would suggest, food is available and what better way is there to celebrate winning the Grand National than with a steak, eh?
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.