Aintree Course Guide

Home to the world-famous Grand National, Aintree’s three-day April Festival is one of the highlights in the National Hunt calendar which stands second only to Cheltenham in terms of importance in the UK. Aside from the marathon steeplechase, highlights at the meeting include the Aintree Hurdle, Liverpool Hurdle, Bowl Chase and Melling Chase – all Grade 1 races – plus the Fox Hunters Chase and Topham Chase, both of which are run over the big spruce fences.

Aintree also stages two important meetings in the first half of the season; the early November fixture features the Old Roan Chase – a Grade 2 contest over two and a half miles – whilst the December meeting features the Becher Chase and Grand Sefton Chase, a once-a-year opportunity to watch two races over the National fences in a single afternoon.


The Grand National course is triangular with its apex (at the Canal Turn) the furthest point from the stands. Inside is the easier Mildmay course which has birch fences. A major feature of the Mildmay course is its sharpness and the fences there are stiffer than used to be the case. The Grand National is run over two complete circuits taking in sixteen spruce fences first time round and fourteen the second and still provides one of the toughest tests ever devised for horse and rider. The run in is 494 yards long and includes an elbow.

Even though it’s flat, it can be very testing for a horse, so you need one that can travel. The winner is almost always still on the bridle leaving the back straight - take a look at some old tapes if you want proof - and those that aren’t really struggle to get home. It’s a long, long way from the home turn to the line and a very long run-in, so you need to have a bit of horse left under you all the way up the home straight to have any chance. As a general rule, it’s the horses that can get into a rhythm, racing nicely on the bridle, who do best at Aintree.

View from the saddle: Mick Fitzgerald
Advance Going
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Last Update: 23/01/2019 17:00

Upcoming races
11:55 Betway Heed Your Hunch Novices' Hurdle
(Class 3) (2m 209y)
  • Winner: West To The Bridge 40/1
  • Jockey: Harry Skelton Trainer: D Skelton
  • Owner: Mr J Tierney
12:25 Betway Handicap Chase
(Class 3) (2m 3f 200y)
  • Winner: Ballyhill 7/2 Fav
  • Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Trainer: N A Twiston-Davies
  • Owner: S Such & Cg Paletta
13:00 Merseyrail Handicap Hurdle
(Class 2) (2m 4f)
  • Winner: Midnight Shadow 4/1 2Fav
  • Jockey: Danny Cook Trainer: Mrs S J Smith
  • Owner: Mrs Aafke Clarke
13:30 Becher Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (National Course)
(Class 1) (3m 1f 188y)
  • Winner: Walk In The Mill 10/1
  • Jockey: James Best Trainer: Robert Walford
  • Owner: Baroness Harding
14:05 Betway Many Clouds Chase (Grade 2)
(Class 1) (3m 210y)
  • Winner: Definitly Red 1/2 Fav
  • Jockey: Danny Cook Trainer: B Ellison
  • Owner: Phil & Julie Martin
14:40 Betway Fillies' Juvenile Hurdle (Listed)
(Class 1) (2m 209y)
  • Winner: Chica Buena 4/1
  • Jockey: B S Hughes Trainer: K Dalgleish
  • Owner: Straightline Bloodstock
15:15 Betway Grand Sefton Handicap Chase (National Course)
(Class 2) (2m 5f 19y)
  • Winner: Warriors Tale 15/2
  • Jockey: Sean Bowen Trainer: P F Nicholls
  • Owner: Mr Trevor Hemmings

Address & Contact

Aintree Racecourse
Ormskirk Road
L9 5AS
0151 523 2600

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