It is negotiated twice during the race - as the eighth fence and the twenty-fourth fence.
The fence is notable for the sharp left-hand turn that the runners have to take as soon as they have negotiated the fence. The turn is almost 90 degrees and it is not uncommon for jockeys to become unbalanced as they change course. Both unseatings and falls are quite common at the fence.
The Canal Turn has been the scene of a number of incidents that have had a major impact upon the outcome of the Grand National.
In the 1928 Grand National, the favourite and top weight Easter Hero refused at the ditch which at the time preceded the fence (this was filled in following the race). This refusal take out 20 horses. By the end of the first circuit only 6 horses remained in the field. By the final fence just 2 remainders. Billy Barton fell at the last, leaving the 100/1 outsider Tipperary Tim to finish alone. Billy Barton did remount to pick up the second placed prize money.
In the 2001 Grand National the riderless Paddy's Return ran in front of the field as they approached the fence. This caused a number of horses to be stopped in their tracks or brought down. In total nine horses in the field were taken out of the race; these included Amberleigh House, who went on to win the race in 2004. Om the second circuit Paddy's Return again ran across the fence, but this time Red Marauder, the eventual winner, and Smarty, who finally took second, avoided the disaster.
- ↑ BBC News (HTML). Grand National 2000. BBC News Online. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/sport/2000/grand_national/course/8_24.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- ↑ You Tube (HTML). 1928 Grand National. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN0CxjXqPuE&feature=related. Retrieved 2008-01-05.