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Randox Grand National 2024: Everything you need to know

2 months ago

Randox Grand National 2024: Everything you need to know

The Grand National is nearly here so we’ve rounded up everything we know so far about one of our fave Liverpool events.

The Randox Grand National 2024 is just over a week away, and as we gallop towards one of Liverpool’s best-loved events the excitement is mounting.

It’s the world’s greatest steeplechase and all eyes will again be on Aintree for this year’s fabulous festival.

There’ll be three days of top-class racing culminating in the main event itself, the Grand National, and as usual it will be party time, all the time, at the famous course.

The Guide Liverpool will be there every day giving live coverage of the action, on and off the track, as well as helping to judge the ever-popular Ladies Day Style Award.

So whether you’re getting ready to throw your glad rags on for the hotly-contested Style competition, preparing to take a punt on your favourite horse, or planning to pop the champagne corks and join in all the fun, here’s all the latest info you need to know.

Book your tickets here. 

When is the Randox Grand National Festival 2024 taking place?

Thursday, April 11 to Saturday, April 13.

Where will it be held?

Aintree Racecourse, which has hosted the Grand National Festival since 1839.

What happens on the Thursday?

Thursday, the Opening Day, is traditionally a great way to build up to the big weekend – it’s still as glam, just with a slightly more laidback feel and alongside a full race card from 1.45pm to 5.15pm there’s live music and entertainment so it’s always a fun one.

Gates open at 11.00am

What about Ladies Day?

Friday, April 12, is Ladies Day which means it’s full-on fashion all the way and the chance to win some amazing prizes with The Style Award. Plus more racing (like Thursday, the first race is 1.45pm and last one 5.15pm) and more entertainment of course.  

Gates open at 10.30am.

Ladies Day Style Awards 2023 1st place winner Sian Jones - with Gemma Cutting
Ladies Day Style Awards 2023 1st place winner Sian Jones – with Gemma Cutting

Is there a Style Award this year?

The Style Award is always huge and this year’s going to be no exception – all the fantastically dressed ladies, and men, will be lining up on Friday to see who walks away with the prize package and The Guide will be helping to choose the winner again so look out for more details as we count down to that.

This year’s Ladies Day Style Awards are already looking like one of the best yet, with iconic high street name River Island joining House of Cavani as an Official Style Partner.

There’ll also be not just the classic first, second and third place as in previous years, but three winners!

For the first time ever there will be two Best Dressed racegoers plus a Most Sustainably Dressed, so three chances to win a fantastic prize package. 

How do I enter?

Look out for Style Pods which you just step into, give your details in, you’ll be photographed and that’s it – that’s your entry.

What are the prizes for this year’s Style Awards?

The two Best Dressed will each pick up a £4,000 River Island voucher, two Garden Club tickets to next year’s Ladies Day at the Randox Grand National Festival, a Randox Health Full Body Everywoman or Everyman package plus a £250 voucher from House of Cavani.

The Most Sustainably Dressed will receive a £2,000 River Island voucher, two Garden Club tickets to the 2025 Ladies Day, a Randox Health Full Body Everywoman or Everyman package plus a £250 voucher for Virgin Experience Days.

Both categories of the contest are open to women and men, so best dressed could actually be best suited, it’s all about who wears it well on the day.

Who is judging The Style Awards?

The Guide’s own Gemma Cutting will be on the judging panel alongside Liverpool boxing champion and Aintree ambassador Natasha Jonas, and fashion writer Emily Sleight. 

What happens on the Saturday?

It’s time for the main event, the world’s most prestigious steeplechase. Gates open at 10am and the first race is 1.20pm so plenty of time to settle in and crack open the prosecco!

The Grand National itself is at 4pm and the last race is 5.35pm.

Gates open at 10am.

Is there entertainment on all three days of the Grand National Festival?

There really is!

Thursday: As well as a string quartet, there’ll be music from Fat Cats, Toni James Band and Merseybelles, as well as a DJ, at various times across the course.

On Friday/Ladies Day: Those same artists will be joined by former BBC Radio 1 presenter Chris Stark who will be headlining the Red Rum Garden Stage from 5.30pm – 7.000pm.

Saturday/Grand National Day: There’ll be live music and a DJ from 10.30am until 7pm.

Grand National at Aintree 2022
Grand National at Aintree 2022

What is different this year?

The first thing fans of the National will notice is the start time for the big race has changed for 2024. It has been brought forward from 5.15pm to 4pm to improve the likelihood of good ground.

The number of runners has also been reduced from 40 to 34 and the first fence moved closer to the starting point to slow down the early stages of the race. These changes are all part of what The Jockey Club describes as its “continued focus to ensure the best possible welfare conditions for racehorses and jockeys.”

The Red Rum Garden has had an upgrade!

Racegoers heading to the Red Rum Garden for the live entertainment will notice some changes too. 60% more wet weather cover has been added in case of downpours, the bar space has been extended and a new DJ platform raised up so everyone gets the same atmosphere whether you’re at the front or back!

Can I buy tickets now?

When it comes to getting tickets, the quicker the better if you want to get your pick of spots on the course because demand is already high and stands and packages sell out fast. Tickets are all available through the Jockey Club website here.

Tickets for the Opening Day start from £35 for adults for the Festival Zone, and for Ladies Day they start at £55. For Grand National Day, lots of stands are already sold out, but you can still get tickets for the Festival Zone (£85) and The Embankment (£45) and some premium hospitality packages.

And when will the actual Grand National race take place?

It’s the climax of the Grand National Festival, and the Grand National run will take place on Saturday, April 13 at 5.15pm.

How can I get there?

Racegoers arriving at Aintree Station 2019
Racegoers arriving at Aintree Station 2019

With so many thousands of racegoers heading to Aintree over the weekend, you need to make getting there – and getting home with your winnings – as simple as possible. That’s where Merseyrail saves the day because Aintree station is just a 2-minute walk across the road from the racecourse and there’ll be extra trains running to make sure it all goes smoothly. They don’t even mind if you take your shoes off and travel in flipflops on the way back into town!

Merseyrail will run a special timetable for The Randox Grand National 2024 Festival, with a seven-and-a-half-minute frequency of service running between Liverpool City Centre and Aintree station before the start and after the finish of the races on each day of the festival.

Trains on the Merseyrail Northern line will run to a slightly amended timetable to provide the best possible service to those attending the iconic event, which takes place from Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 April. Customers should check the journey planner on Merseyrail’s website or app for up-to-date departure times before travelling.

On all three days, a seven-and-a-half-minute service will run between Aintree and Liverpool Central/Moorfields stations at the following times:

  • Liverpool city centre to Aintree, from approximately 11:00 – 13:00 (before the races)
  • Aintree to Liverpool city centre, from approximately 16:30 – 20:30 (after the races)

A 15-minute service will run at all other times.

More info on this here.

Where to go for Raceday Brunch?

Grand National Breakfast. Credit: St George's Hall
Grand National Breakfast. Credit: St George’s Hall

Grand National race day breakfasts are all part of the tradition and there are lots already announced for 2024 including Baby E Coffee, Albert’s Schloss, and a new one at St. George’s Hall which is super-handy for Lime Street and Central stations.

Lock & Key on Duke Street has got race day brunches on all three days, and The Bentley has a champagne breakfast with live entertainment on Saturday.

So give yourself staying power by getting off to a great start with a great breakfast.

You can find more places to eat you Grand National Breakfast here.

Is there a dress code?

There’s no official dress code at The Grand National. Aintree Racecourse encourages you to come dressed to feel your best.

Where can I find out more?

Go to the Randox Grand National Festival 2024 website HERE and keep an eye on The Guide Liverpool.

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