We Americans think of the Kentucky Derby, and by extension, the triple crown, as the greatest, most famous horse race. But for a far larger portion of the world’s population — and with all due respect to Lexington, Kentucky….it’s England’s Grand National 2014 that people are looking forward to. And this year’s race, on April 5, is no exception.

In any year, the Grand National steeplechase race at Aintree provides the kind of sport that has defined this “’sport of kings.” How cool is it to see those 40 beautiful horses testing their endurance, jumping 30 fences before the final run to the championship.

It’s also a bettor’s paradise. Some of the early odds have Monbeg Dude at 20-1, based on the horse’s performance in the Welsh National last season. Some observers say he has improved his jumping since then. Triolo Dalene is also an early 20-1 shot, after winning the Hennessy Gold Cup. The horse has Grand National fence experience, which is a huge plus, bookie’s say.

For those who don’t follow the English racing scene, Grand National 2014 is likely to be a scene right out of Downtown Abbey. The glamor. The glitz of English royalty. What fun.

If you ever get a chance to take in the three day Grand National Festival, the run-up to the big race itself, please do so. About 154,000 people attend every year.

For me, it’s worth a few dollars to play and there are no shortage of legitimate websites ready to accept your bet. As a racing aficionado, I never miss watching this great race. And laying down a few euros. I hope you’ll check it out too.

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