Grand National Thursday draws to a close at Aintree and Ladies Day countdown gets underway! - The Guide Liverpool

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Grand National Thursday draws to a close at Aintree and Ladies Day countdown gets underway!

07/04/2022

It’s back! The day racegoers have been waiting for since 2019 got off to a windy start, but it takes more than it blowing a bit of a gale to dampen the incredible atmosphere at Aintree.

The opening day of Randox Grand National festival is traditionally dedicated to Liverpool and this year’s was no different, saying a massive thanks to all the fantastic NHS staff for their heroic efforts during the pandemic.

Ten thousand NHS workers were given free tickets to be at Aintree today and they joined thousands of others, all glammed up (and sometimes wrapped up) and excited to get through those gates and get things off to a great start.

Of course, as ever, the women racegoers looked amazing and the lads were all smart suited up – and in true Scouse style most of them braved it with no coats. There were even quite a few strapless dresses and bare shoulders, so special mention to those women who put fashion over keeping warm!

The food and drink were going down a treat, especially with everyone lucky enough to be booked into The Art School at Aintree where chef Paul Askew and his team were creating some top-class dishes.

After two years with no crowds, there was such a buzz around the course and Dickon White from the Jockey Club perfectly summed it up when he said the feeling of it finally happening was like being a child at Christmas.

“We’re really proud of this event, it’s a great privilege to be involved,” he said. “We can’t wait to welcome 150,000 people into the racecourse over the next three days. This is a really special day, not just for Aintree but for the whole of Liverpool, and we want people to come, really have a fun time and go home thinking they’ll be back next year.”

Ladies Day advice

With a full day of racing and celebrations for all the winners on Thursday now done, it’s all about looking forward to Fabulous Friday and Aintree’s spectacular Ladies Day.

If you’re planning your day, remember the gates open at 10.30am and Dickon’s advice is to get there handy and leave plenty of time to get in. The first race will be at 1.45pm and the last one is at 5.15pm.

For anyone not coming on a coach, the best bet is to leave the car at home, avoid the roads which are always super-busy and use Merseyrail to get to the course instead. Merseyrail has made some changes to its timetable especially for the festival so it’ll be running a 10-minute service with trains to and from Aintree to Liverpool city centre.

One of the highlights of Ladies Day is always the Style Award and this year, The Guide’s Jay and Gemma will be judging alongside Style Award partner Never Fully Dressed’s founder Lucy Aylen.

Ladies Day

Lucy from Never Fully Dressed pictured in middle

We can’t wait to see all the stunning races outfits that we know take months to get together. Don’t forget, if you’re planning to enter the contest, and be in with a chance of winning prizes including £5,000 cash and a £500 NFD voucher, you can enter from as soon as the gates open until 2pm.

All you have to do is get your details onto a competition form, you’ll be photographed by the team at Aintree and the winner will be announced at around 3.45pm on the day.

Once the final race is run, the fun doesn’t stop there – even if your feet are killing – because the party carries on with Craig Charles doing a live DJ set on the Red Rum Lawn.

We can’t wait!

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