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Sporting icons to celebrate Merseyside Sport on Grand National Thursday

Brand new Champions Lounge with Kenny Dalglish, Michael Owen, Graeme Sharp, Sam Quek, Beth Tweddle and many more stars


Thursday 19th October – Today, Jockey Club Racecourses announce a ‘Celebration of Merseyside Sport’ for Grand National Thursday of the Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, 12th April 2018.

Arguably one of the best days in British Racing Jumps calendar, the newly renamed Grand National Thursday – A Day for Champions, will celebrate the many successes of sport across Merseyside with a brand new Champions Lounge which will include some of the very best sports stars from across Merseyside. The stars, who will range from yesteryear to current day, will also be part of a new Opening Ceremony on the day.

Michael Owen, Former Liverpool FC and England footballer, said: “Delighted to be part of the new Champions Lounge on Grand National Thursday. I’m a massive horseracing fan and the Grand National is such an iconic race watched by millions around the world. I really like the fact that Aintree is not only showcasing the quality of racing on Grand National Thursday but also celebrating Merseyside Sport on the day as well.”

The new Champions Lounge will be located next to Aintree’s Parade Ring and hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker.

It will consist of Q&A sessions throughout Grand National Thursday with sporting celebrities representing sports synonymous to success in Merseyside including Liverpool FC legends, Kenny Dalglish, Michael Owen and John Aldridge; Everton FC’s Graeme Sharp, Ian Snodin and Graham Stuart; Olympic Gold Medallist, Sam Quek; Olympic medallist and 3-time World Champion, Beth Tweddle; Rugby League Legend, Jon Wilkin; European Champion, Commonwealth gold and World silver medallist, Fran Halsall; Olympic Taekwondo Silver Medallist, Bianca Walden; and Boxing star Paul Smith.

Beth Tweddle, Olympic medalist and 3-time World Champion, said: “I’ve always been a Grand National fan – every year I make sure I watch the Grand National race – it’s the race that stops the nation. When I ask people about Grand National Thursday, they always say what a fantastic day it is, superb racing and their best day of the three. I’m delighted to be part of Aintree’s celebration of Merseyside Sport – we certainly have a lot of talented people across many sport which I’m sure will be showcased really well on the day.”

Aside from the Q&A sessions and rubbing shoulders with the stars throughout the day, racegoers will receive a Buffet ‘Feast for Champions’ in the Champions Lounge, breakfast canapes, Earl of Derby Grandstand seats, traditional Afternoon Tea, musical entertainment, complimentary racecard and free car parking at one of the greatest horseracing Festival in the world.

Graeme Sharp, Everton FC ambassador, said: “The Grand National Festival is a global event but, as with Everton FC, it’s very much part of Merseyside heritage. Merseyside Sport has a lot of be proud of so I’m delighted to be representing Everton FC to help Aintree celebrate it on the first day of the three day meeting. Grand National Thursday is also one of the best days racing in the Jumps calendar with four Grade Ones and a day not to miss.”

Liverpool was recently voted as Britain’s greatest sporting city and Aintree is looking to celebrate that by ensuring all sports are representing on the day.

 To celebrate the inspiring successes of Merseyside Invictus Games heroes who participated in the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto in November, Aintree is inviting them to be part of the Champions Lounge to share their inspiring stories. The participants will also be part of the new Military theme on the day as well as the Opening Ceremony of the Randox Health Grand National Festival.

Tickets for the Champions Lounge on Grand National Thursday are priced at £299 + VAT. To purchase go to www.randoxhealthgrandnational.co.uk or call 0151 522 2911. Racegoers can also email [email protected] or buy tickets directly from the sales office at Aintree Racecourse.

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About Aintree Racecourse / The Jockey Club

Aintree is home to The Randox Health Grand National, the most famous horse race in the world which is the climax to a three-day Festival meeting in April every year.  The racecourse hosts five other fixtures and is a leading conference centre in the north west of England.  More information is available at aintree.thejockeyclub.co.uk.

Aintree is part of About The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences we offer through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny we make goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. We were founded in 1750 and today we are the largest commercial group in Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and our charity, Racing Welfare. For more information visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.


About Randox / Randox Health

Randox Health is the largest healthcare diagnostics company from the UK, with 1400 employees of 44 different nationalities, including 300 research scientists and engineers. Established in 1982, Randox now has offices and distribution in over 145 countries and exports 95% of its products. It has four key manufacturing and R&D sites: in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; Dungloe, County Donegal, Ireland; Bangalore, India, and in the Greater Washington DC area, USA. Every year over 370 million patients are diagnosed using Randox technology. With over 20% of the world’s major laboratories using Randox products and services, the company works across a range of settings, including hospitals, clinical, research and molecular labs, food testing, forensic toxicology, veterinary labs and life sciences.  Randox has more new tests in development than any other diagnostic company, and the unique patented Randox BioChip Array Technology is the world’s only diagnostic grade biochip.  The Randox Health check, the world’s most advanced preventative health check, is available in Randox Health clinics currently located in London and Belfast, with ambitious plans to roll out a number of new clinics across the UK over 2016-2017. More information on Randox products and services is available at www.randox.com, or for more information on the Randox Health Clinics visit www.randoxhealth.com