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12 things to include in your races checklist for Aintree this week

1 year ago

12 things to include in your races checklist for Aintree this week
Grand National at Aintree 2022

The Randox Grand National Festival’s about to get underway at Aintree and if you want to make sure the going is good for you and your mates when you get there, plan ahead.

As with everything, it’s best to put a bit of thought in before you go to make sure you have the best races experience, whether you’re heading to Aintree on Thursday when the event begins, Ladies Day on Friday, or the big race, the Grand National itself, on Saturday.

So here’s some of our best racing tips for you to check off…

Book your brekkie

Barnacle - Grand National Brunch
Barnacle – Grand National Brunch

It’s a long day at the races especially when, like most people, you’re starting early – so make sure you get a good breakfast or brunch before you go. There’s guaranteed to be some great deals on at restaurants and hotels across the city, but you’ll need to book to ensure your place at the table.

Leave the car at home

Merseyrail / Stadler 777

Getting the train makes a trip to Aintree a doddle, there’s plenty of trains running and the station’s only a short walk across the road from the racecourse itself. Plus, it means you can have a glass of fizz or two with your full English.

Plan your journey – and get there early

If you’re getting the train, check the times and plan when you’re going to set off. Merseyrail has a full timetable of trains to Aintree to make sure you don’t miss the starting gun for the first race. And, just a thought – get there early and then you can avoid the queues, settle in and find your fave spot ready to enjoy the day.

Check the odds

Okay so you might not know who’s on form this season, but if you fancy a flutter when you get there, grab the Racing Post before you go for their top tips on which horse or rider is worth putting a couple of quid on. 

Flip Flops

Not the height of fashion perhaps and a bit cold for a breezy Aintree but you’ll be glad of them after a few hours of standing in high heels or traipsing around the course from the track to the bar… or when you’re finally heading home. (If you can’t fit any in your bag, they do give them out at Aintree – but grab them early because they can run out).

Hog roast sandwich

Paul Askew
Paul Askew

Aintree’s got great restaurants if you want a full sit down dinner or celebratory meal – The Art School’s Paul Askew has also got a great race day treat experience too with an amazing six-course tasting menu and Champagne afternoon tea – but if you’re eating on the go you can’t beat a hot hog roast sandwich from one of the stands around the course – with stuffing of course! 

Fashion First Aid kit

A group of ladies celebrate with a drink Investec Derby Festival, Ladies Day, Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom, UK – 01 Jun 2018 Photo: Anthony Upton for The Jockey Club

Yep it’s always good to pack a couple of blister plasters for when those heels start to rub – maybe make sure you wear those new shoes in first?! – but we don’t just mean to include the obvious First Aid fixtures. Don’t forget a safety pin or mini-sewing kit in case of a bust zip or popped button, take a few extra hair clips for up-do disasters, and hairspray – not just for your curly blow but to stop any ladders in your tights running further.

Apres race day

It’s not just on the ski slopes where the action famously continues after the main event, everyone wants to head into town to carry on the celebrations after a day at the races. So again, if you want to party with pals and dine at your fave restaurant at the end of a great day, don’t fall at the final fence – book now to make sure you can get in there.

Enter the Style Awards on Friday

If you’ve gone to town on your outfit for Ladies Day on Friday, why not show it off to everyone and enter the Style Awards – the Guide’s Jay Hynd and Gemma Cutting are among the judges – especially when the prizes you can win are better than ever! First prize this year is a holiday worth £5,000 plus £1,500 spending money, a £1,000 donation to your chosen charity, two Garden Club tickets to Ladies Day 2024, and a Randox full-body Everyman/Everywoman health check. 

Remember it’s not just racing

There’s live music and DJs on around the racecourse all day, every day, from string quartets for a classical feel to a bit of swing. Southport DJ Adele Roberts is one of the big names at Aintree this year, and she’s there on Friday with a live DJ set after racing on the Red Rum Garden stage.

He who dares … doesn’t always win!

So while you’ll fancy a flutter and want a bet or two at Aintree, maybe set yourself a limit of what you can afford to lose. Also be mindful of the betting amounts on site, where different places have different minimum bets, from £2 to £5.

Last but by no means least – check in with The Guide Liverpool

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We’ll be bringing you all the latest news as the festival takes off, and you can find out who’s there and what are our favourites in the fun stakes from Thursday all the way through to Saturday.

For all the latest Grand National at Aintree news keep checking The Guide Liverpool.


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