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The Grand National

Nothing beats the exhilaration of a major sporting event and, when it comes to edge-of-your-seat entertainment, the Grand National is up there with the best. The world’s most renowned steeplechase draws 77,000 excited race-goers to Aintree each April, and they’re all there to dress to impress, have a flutter and watch all the drama unfold. If you’re in Liverpool to attend this iconic event, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a Premier Inn near Aintree, too – a great way to get your special break under starter’s orders.

About the Grand National

The Aintree Grand National

The Grand National is the final day of a three-day festival of racing held at Aintree. It’s the one every jockey and horse trainer wants to win as, with a prize fund of over £1 million up for grabs, it’s the most valuable horse race in Europe.
But prize money aside, the race is also extremely challenging, pitting up to 40 horses against each other on an energy-sapping 4.5-mile course.
What makes the Grand National particularly gruelling is the obstacles, which are much larger than those found on conventional National Hunt tracks. There are 30 fences to be jumped in all over two laps, followed by a final, thrilling sprint to the finish line.


The first Grand National was won in 1837 by a horse named Lottery, and since then the steeplechase has had more than its fair share of magical moments over the years.

It was the race that made Red Rum famous and he remains the only horse to have won the Grand National three times. And who can forget the year when cancer survivor Bob Champion rode Aldaniti, a horse destined for the racing scrap heap, to a 10/1 victory?

Then there was 1993 and the race that never was. For the first time in its history, two false starts meant the Grand National was called a void and bookies were forced to refund an estimated £75 million in bets staked.

Getting there

Getting to the Grand National is easy, with special services being laid on to ferry racegoers to and from the city centre. Seeing your fellow passengers catching the bus all done up in their finery is very much part of the fun!

Top tip

The Grand National may be a stylish affair, but that doesn’t mean you should turn up fashionably late if you want to beat the queues. The racecourse is open from 9am on Grand National day and you’ll need to make sure you get there as early as possible to get through the tight security measures. Everything needs to be searched and scanned, so avoid taking large bags as this could hold you up even further.

Important information

Read our hints and tips to make sure your Grand National day goes smoothly.

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