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    Complete Guide to the 2024 Aintree Grand National
Complete Guide to the 2024 Aintree Grand National
Grand National Guide. Source: Sporting Life

Complete Guide to the 2024 Aintree Grand National

The Randox Grand National Festival, the most famous steeplechase in the world, is about to begin, inviting enthusiasts from all over to Aintree. The festival spans three days and features a total of 21 races, including the renowned main event scheduled for 4 pm on Saturday, April 13. The decision to shift the race time to a later slot was initially made to attract a larger audience once the 3 pm football matches had concluded. However, for the 2024 race, the start time has been moved back to an earlier afternoon slot to prevent the Aintree ground from drying out.

Merseyside will host a multitude of racegoers, while an estimated 800 million viewers are anticipated to watch the races on TV. This is more than just a prestigious steeplechase; it is a national tradition that captivates a global audience. The event is grand in scale and executed with utmost care and attention. It offers an unmatched combination of thrilling sports and entertainment that guarantees unforgettable memories. Missing out on this event is not an option.

When the gates of Aintree open at approximately 10:30 am each day, attendees of the races will have ample time to enter the course before the first race commences. With bars and restaurants operating throughout the day, as well as corporate boxes and suites offering lunch prior to the start of the races, many racegoers will arrive early at the track to maximise their experience.

Furthermore, the track will feature various other forms of entertainment. Therefore, if you are attending the 2024 Grand National meeting on any of the three days, it is advisable to explore and discover what else is on offer. Typically, there are on-site shops and stalls where you can purchase racing fashion items or racing-related memorabilia such as pictures or books.

Additionally, keep an eye out for competitions scattered throughout the track, such as the 'Best Dressed Lady,' 'Best Dressed Man,' or 'Best Dressed Couple' contests. The winners of these competitions often receive appealing prizes sponsored by generous entities, which can range from cash rewards to even a car.

Randox Grand National. Source: The Guardian
Randox Grand National. Source: The Guardian

How long is the Grand National?

The Grand National is a race that covers approximately 494 yards, equivalent to 4 miles, 2 furlongs, and approximately 74 yards. Due to its considerable length, it is a race that often experiences numerous changes in the running order as it progresses.

What are the dates for the Grand National Festival in 2024?

The Grand National Festival commences on April 11th and concludes on April 13th.

  • On the first day, April 11th, the gates open at 11 am. There will be a series of seven races commencing at 1.45 pm.
  • The second day, known as Ladies Day, falls on April 12th. The gates open at 10 am, and seven races are scheduled to begin at 1.45 pm.
  • The final day, April 13th, is Grand National Day. The gates open at 10 am, and seven races are set to take place. The first race starts at 1.20 pm, with the highlight event, the Grand National Steeple Chase, commencing at 4 pm.

What safety precautions are being implemented this year?

This year, to enhance safety during the race, the Grand National is reducing the number of runners from 40 to 34.

Moreover, there will be adjustments to the race's initial stages, such as moving the first fence closer to the start line and implementing a standing start, which will slow down the horses.

There has been persistent advocacy for more stringent safety measures, with animal welfare organisations criticising the races for cruelty towards the horses.

In the Aintree Festival of 2023, three horses lost their lives, while in 2022, a total of four horses perished, including two in the Grand National.

The weather forecast for the event

- On Friday, April 12th, known as Ladies Day, there are scattered rain showers. Although the temperatures are reaching a high of 15°C, the presence of wind makes it feel colder.

- On Saturday, April 13th, also known as Grand National Day, there will be a mixture of clouds and sunny intervals, along with some showers. It will be moderately windy, with occasional strong gusts that will make temperatures of 14°C feel colder, akin to single-digit figures.

How many horses are in the 2024 Grand National?

At present, more than 50 horses are vying for the Grand National, which exceeds the permitted limit for the 2024 race. However, before the race day, the list of contenders will be reduced to 34 horses.

Who is the current favourite to win the 2024 Grand National?

The leading contender at the moment is a well-known individual to those who witnessed the Grand National event in 2023. Corach Rambler, the victorious participant of the renowned race in the previous year, holds the favoured position, with odds approximately at 5/1.

Merseyside Police. Source: Policing Insight
Merseyside Police. Source: Policing Insight

What security measures are implemented?

As part of the efforts to prevent disruptions, Aintree will have undercover officers deployed. Merseyside Police have dedicated significant planning to ensure that the three-day event is remembered positively. In the previous year, over 100 individuals were arrested after animal rights activists caused a delay by entering the track. While Animal Rising, an animal rights charity, claims it has no intentions of interfering this year, Merseyside Police have prepared for all possible scenarios. Attendees are advised to allocate additional time for reaching the course, arrive early, and minimise the number of bags and personal possessions they bring. Normal security protocols, including bag searches, will be conducted as expected by the police.

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