Aintree Racecourse: The Home of the Grand National Steeplechase!
Aintree Racecourse is a horse racecourse located in the city of Liverpool, Lancashire, which is in north west England, on the River Mersey. Aintree Racecourse is situated at Ormskirk Road.
Aintree Racecourse is renowned for being the host of the Grand National steeplechase. Aintree Racecourse has two left-handed courses: the Grand National circuit and the Midmay Course.
The Grand National circuit at Aintree Racecourse (2m2f) is flat and has big fences with drop on landing side and a long run-in. The racecourse is regarded as one of the most difficult of all courses to successfully complete, with 16 steeplechase fences including The Chair, Canal Turn and Becher's Brook . All fences bar the water jump are covered with spruce unlike any other course in British national hunt racing.
Other races held over the Grand National fences at Aintree Racecourse are the following:
- Topham Chase (formerly known as the John Hughes Trophy Chase)
- Fox Hunters' Chase
- Grand Sefton Handicap Chase
- Becher Handicap Chase
Located within the Grand National fences is the smaller Mildmay course that contains hurdles and fences. The Mildmay Course, 1m3f, flat with conventional fences, is sharper than hurdles course. The only fence common to the National and Mildmay courses is the water jump.
The Grand National steeplechase at Aintree Racecourse is run over four and a half miles (7.24 km). The Grand National was first run in 1839. There are usually 40 horses taking part in the race but fewer than 10 may in fact complete the course. The lead has often changed hands during the 494-yard (452 m) run-in after the final fence. The record for the most victories in the Grand National is held by Red Rum, who won three times in the 1970s.
Aintree Racecourse History
- On July 27, 1829, a flat race fixture was staged at Aintree and this signaled the coming of the sport to the place. The first owner of Aintree was the owner of Liverpool 's Waterloo Hotel, Mr William Lynn, who leased the land from Lord Sefton. Lynn laid out the racecourse and built a grandstand.
- In 1949 Lord Sefton sold the racecourse to the Topham family who owned several tracts of land around Aintree racecourse.
- The Midmay course was opened in 1953 at Aintree racecourse, at the same time a motor race circuit which encircled the course was also opened. The Midmay course was built by Mirabel Topham when she was appointed new course manager. It was named after Lord Midmay, an amateur jockey.
- In 1973, Aintree racecourse was sold by the Tophams family to property developer Bill Davies.
- In 1975, bookmakers Ladbrokes signed an agreement with Davies and took full control of the Grand National.
- In 1983, the Jockey Club took control of Aintree racecourse.
- The 2004 Grand National attracted over 150,000 spectators to Aintree racecourse.
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