Aintree Racecourse is home to the world’s most famous steeplechase, the Grand National. A left-handed, flat, British horse racing venue on Merseyside just outside Liverpool, it hosts jumps racing on two tracks. The Mildmay Course on the inside is tighter, with a full circuit being just less than a mile-and-a-half. The Grand National Course, meanwhile, is almost two-and-a-quarter miles round and has unique fences like Becher’s Brook, The Canal Turn and The Chair.
Aintree Racecourse events are built around that race and the Grand National Festival in April with 11 Grade 1s taking place over three days. Other high-profile Aintree races include the Liverpool Hurdle and Melling Chase.
Confirmed races in plain text. Confirmed pattern races in bold text. Unconfirmed races in grey text.
The National course is all left-handed and flat and the fences come thick and fast. The ground can get softer down after Valentine's Brook so that's why you see the race develop there and horses getting left behind.
The only place on the track to give your horse a breather is just after the water. Horses in races need that, you need to have parts where you go back a few gears, and most tracks offer those opportunities, but Aintree doesn't really give you much of that on the National course.
When you're with a good partner on the National track, like I was with Pacha Du Polder, then it's pretty awesome. You are jumping, collecting, jumping, collecting - there's zero time to organise – but it can feel incredible.
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