Aintree Racecourse

Address:
The Racecourse, Ormskirk Road, Aintree, Liverpool, L9 5AS - Map & Directions
Telephone:
0151 523 2600

Home of the Grand National steeplechase, arguably the most famous horse race in the world, Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside is located approximately five miles from Liverpool City Centre. Now owned by the Jockey Club, Aintree opened in July 1829 and was originally a flat racing course although steeplechasing was introduced in 1839 and it is now regarded as one of the most difficult racecourses in the world. In addition to the Grand National, which is held annually in April, Aintree hosts a further five race days throughout the year.

Served by Aintree Railway Station, with good motorway links and situated only 20 minutes’ drive from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Aintree is easily accessible and can hold up to 75,000 spectators on Grand National day. Thanks to a £35m redevelopment project the racecourse now boasts two new grandstands, a new parade ring and winners’ enclosure and an impressive visitor centre (open May-October).

Ticket Prices

Adult tickets for non-Grand National race days range from £16.00-£22.00 with concessions from £12.00. Prices for the Grand National are higher, although for the 2015 renewal the cheapest Grand National tickets are still only £23 in the Steeplechase enclosure (no access to the Parade Ring side of the course but still boasting its own bars, catering, betting facilities and big screen viewing facilities). Tickets in the Tattersalls Enclosure start from £49.00 on Grand National day, admission to the Lord Sefton Terrace is £90.00 and dining and hospitality packages are available from £280.00.

The Course

Now a jumps-only track there are two courses at Aintree, both left-handed, the two mile and two furlong Grand National circuit and the shorter Mildmay Course (one mile and three furlongs). There are many famous features about the track that are famous through their association with the Grand National.

The Grand National itself is run over 4 and half miles, with 16 steeplechase fences including the famous fences of Canal Turn, the Chair and Becher’s Brook. Canal Turn is jumped twice during the National and is so-called because the Leeds-Liverpool canal is just beyond the boundary of the course.

The major difficulty of the jump is the almost 90 degree left turn the jockeys and horses face immediately after. The most famous jump though is Becher’s Brook, named after Captain Martin Becher who fell there during the first official National way back in 1839. The jump has been modified over the years to reduce equine and human injuries but still remains a fearsome prospect with the landing side much lower than the jump side, almost a foot on the inside of the course.

All fences other than water jumps are covered with spruce which makes it unique among British National Hunt racing circuits. Another special feature is that the course contains a 9-hole golf course and driving range within its boundaries and it has also been used as a venue for motor racing – the British Grand Prix was staged there on five occasions in the 1950s and 60s.

Major Meetings at Aintree

Five race days are held at Aintree an addition to the Grand National; these include the Old Roan Chase Day in October and the Becher Chase Day held in early December. It is, of course, worth noting that the Grand National is actually a three-day festival with the Saturday hosting the feature race on Grand National Day.

Dining and Hospitality

For Non-Grand National meetings the racecourse operates a one enclosure ticket policy giving access to all public areas and open grandstands. Hospitality is available in the Platinum Country Lounge, an over 21s suite accessible with the purchase of a wristband.

The dining and hospitality options for the Grand National are vast and start from £280 for the Early Mist Restaurant Package which includes admission, car parking, a gourmet buffet lunch and cash bar. £540 will get you the Sunloch Restaurant Package which includes a three course lunch with house wines, complimentary bar and waitress service throughout the day.

There are numerous fast food and drink outlets situated across the course available for the rest of the spectators.

Map

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