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Grand Opening Day Preview Night

Aintree Racecourse announces that for the first time ever, an exclusive preview night will take place on Wednesday 5th April in the Aintree Pavilion at the racecourse, prior to the three day Randox Health Grand National Festival, Thursday 6 April – Saturday 8 April.

The preview night will include a short walking tour of Aintree and a preview of the three days racing by a panel of experts including Grand National winning trainer, Oliver Sherwood, the most successful female jockey in Grand National history, Katie Walsh, 14 times Grand National jockey, Andrew Thornton, and former British Jump who rode 470 winners in his career and famously came second to Red Rum in the 1973 Grand National, Richard Pitman.

The Grand National tour will start from the Aintree Pavilion before heading to the world famous Aintree fence, The Chair. It will then go past the Water Jump and Red Rum’s Grave and down to Aintree’s Wash Down area adjacent to The Lord Sefton Stand.* Tours will be led by Aintree historians with legendary jockeys, Richard Pitman and Andrew Thornton based at The Chair and The Water Jump, respectively, to talk guests through their tales of the greatest horserace in the world.

The exclusive preview night is free and open to Grand Opening Day ticket purchasers only and is strictly limited to 300 people who purchase from Friday 3rd March at 5pm. Print at home tickets can be obtained when purchasing a Grand Opening Day ticket – limited to one ticket per person (simply select the Preview Evening as an ‘add-on’ when booking a Grand Opening Day ticket). Timings of the event can be found below.

Guests will arrive through the VIP entrance and parking is available but guests are strongly advised to arrive via public transport. They will be guided to the Aintree Pavilion by Aintree’s Racemakers and people will be assembled into three groups and lead around on a one hour Grand National tour.

On return to the Aintree Pavilion, guests will enjoy music from a local band and take in video footage of previous Grand Nationals, including Red Red Rum’s 1977 victory and Foinavon’s magical win in 1967 as well as last year’s triumph by Rule the World.

The preview night will be split into two sections with panellists focussing on Grand Opening Day races, Thursday 6 April and Ladies Day racing, Friday 7 April in the first section, and Grand National Day, Saturday 8 April in the second half of the evening.

John Baker, Managing Director of Aintree Racecourse, said: “Racing is and always will be at the centre of the Randox Health Grand National Festival so we’re delighted to be able to offer this fantastic preview night to three days of top class racing for Grand Opening Day bookers. It will be the first opportunity for racegoers to see Aintree Racecourse fully set for The Randox Health Grand National Festival, so this will be a unique experience for 300 people. Aside from that, there will be an exciting and interesting Grand National tour by our historians with insight from Richard Pitman and Andrew Thornton as well as an informative and engaging preview night with quality experts from British Racing – we’re thrilled to have such a top class panel.

”The Randox Health Grand National Festival is in good shape with all grandstand areas and Festival Zone tickets as well as hospitality for Grand National Day sold out with only Steeplechase tickets still available for the final day on Saturday 8 April.

“Aside from Grand National Day, tickets are still available for the 2017 Randox Health Grand National Festival on Grand Opening Day, Thursday 6 April, and Ladies Day, Friday 7 April, but they are selling fast.”

* The tour will not take people onto the track. Participants will be walking on the rubber walkway. 

Preview Night Key Timings
5.00pm Guests to arrive through the VIP entrance and will be guided to the Aintree Pavilion
5.30pm Guided tours start – three tours (5.30pm, 5.45pm and 6.00pm) – Aintree Pavilion/The Chair/Water Jump/RR Grave/Winning Post
6.30pm – 7.15pm Local Band to play and Grand National videos in the Aintree Pavilion
7.30pm – 8.15pm Preview session – Grand Opening Day and Ladies Day
8.15pm – 8.30pm Break
8.30pm– 9.15pm Preview session – Grand National Day
10.00pm Bar to close – Aintree Pavilion

Only Steeplechase tickets are available for Grand National Day but tickets for Grand Opening Day are available from £29 for Festival Zone and hospitality places are available from £119 plus VAT. For Ladies Day, tickets are available from £43 and hospitality from £169 plus VAT. Racegoers can purchase by visiting randoxhealthgrandnational.co.uk or by calling 0344 579 3001.