Everything you need to know about the Grand National 2024

Event Information Horse Racing Tuesday April 9, 2024 By: Harry Howes

The world will be watching Aintree on Saturday afternoon as some of horse racing’s biggest stars go head-to-head in the Grand National. While all eyes will understandably be on the iconic showpiece race, the three-day festival gets underway on Thursday.

Racing fans both in Liverpool and watching on TV will be treated to 21 thrilling races, with hundreds of horses and jockeys looking to make a name for themselves. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the event.

The Grand National

Having first taken place in 1839, the Grand National has become one of the world’s most prestigious races over the last 185 years. Run over around 4 miles and 2 ½ furlongs, horses will need to navigate 30 testing fences before reaching the winning post.

Countless famous horses and jockeys have been victorious in the race over the years, with Red Rum arguably the most well known of all. The Irish horse notably won back-to-back races in 1973 and 1974, before coming back to complete the hat-trick in 1977. Remarkably, Red Rum finished second in the two intervening years.

Following animal rights protests disrupting the race last year, there have been a number of changes implemented to ensure the safety of the horses. The field has been reduced from 40 to a maximum of 34, which minimises the risk of horses falling.

The race will now begin from a standing start instead of a rolling one, while the first fence has also been brought forward slightly. Both of these measures will reduce the speed of the horses during the start of the race. Similarly, fence 11 has been reduced in height, as has the drop on the landing side.

This year’s Grand National will get underway at 4pm, rather than the traditional 5:15pm start. Reigning champion Corach Rambler is looking to become the first horse to secure back-to-back nationals since Tiger Roll five years ago.

Derek Fox rode to victory a year ago, edging 2 ½ lengths clear of runner-up Vanillier, who is back to try and go one better than last time out. The pair will face stiff competition from the Willie Mullins trained I Am Maximus, who won the Irish Grand National in 2023.

Grand National race schedule

Thursday 11th April – Opening Day

1:45pm – The Close Brothers Manifesto Novices’ Chase
2:20pm – The Boodles Anniversary 4-y-o Juvenile Hurdle
2:55pm – The William Hill Bowl
3:30pm – The William Hill Aintree Hurdle
4:05pm – The Randox Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase
4:40pm – The Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase
5:15pm – The Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat

Friday 12th April – Ladies’ Day

1:45pm – The Huyton Asphalt Franny Blennerhassett Memorial Mildmay Novices’ Chase
2:20pm – The William Hill Handicap Hurdle
2:55pm – The TrustATrader Top Novices’ Hurdle
3:30pm – The My Pension Expert Melling Chase
4:05pm – The Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Chase
4:40pm – The Cavani Sartorial Menswear Sefton Novices’ Hurdle
5:15pm – The Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle

Saturday 13th April – Grand National Day

1:20pm – The William Hill Handicap Hurdle
1:55pm – The Turners Mersey Novices’ Hurdle
2:30pm – The William Hill Handicap Chase
3:05pm – The JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle
4:00pm – The Randox Grand National Steeple Chase
5:00pm – The My Pension Expert Maghull Novices’ Chase
5:35pm – The Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race

Grand National hospitality

Giddy up and enjoy the racing from the best seats in the house with Engage’s exclusive hospitality packages. We offer three different options. The Tiger Roll Suite is a marquee that offers views of the parade ring, a four-course lunch, complimentary drinks, premier course admission and plenty more.

Meanwhile, you can enjoy the same benefits plus restaurant entertainment and a private balcony in the Sunloch Restaurant. Finally, the Horse & Groom is Aintree’s very own pub that’s situated above the weighing room and overlooks the parade ring.

Enquire today to enjoy a three-course pub lunch, reserved grandstand seating, a complimentary bar and a Jockey Club tipster. All of our hospitality packages offer car parking, afternoon snacks and the best views the racecourse has to offer.

Grand National Horse

Horse Racing Hospitality

Grand National dress code

If you’re wondering what to wear in our hospitality suites, look no further. Aintree racecourse operates a smart casual dress code, although they encourage visitors to dress to impress. No offensive fancy dress is permitted, nor are any sports team colours or kits.

How to get to Aintree Racecourse

If you’re planning on driving to the festival, Aintree racecourse is located on the A59, just a mile from the M57 and M58. Follow the A59 to Liverpool and the yellow signs will direct you to the car parks. Spaces for the car parks can be booked online.

For those travelling by train, frequent Merseyrail services from Liverpool Central station will get you to Aintree station in just over seven minutes. The station is located opposite the racecourse.

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