Horse racing is a sport that takes place in pretty much every corner of the globe. Even with that considered Aintree Racecourse is one of – if not the – most well-known and highly respected courses in the world. Here we put the home of the Grand National under the microscope as we look at all things Aintree Racecourse.
What is Aintree Racecourse?
Aintree Racecourse is a set of horseracing courses located in Merseyside, England. Although events take place at the course all year round, it is best known for hosting the most decorated hurdle race in Europe; that’s the Grand National, which is a race that spans over four miles and involves several monstrous jumps. Aintree has been hosting races since way back in 1829 courtesy of local duo William Lynn and William Molyneux.
The key thing to talk about at Aintree Racecourse is, of course, the courses themselves. Whilst the Grand National course is the best known there are actually three different routes at Aintree. The Hurdles’ Course was the first to open and sees horses compete over a fairly short track packed with hurdles and harsh corners.
The Mildmay Course, which is 59-years-old, has been revamped over that period with many trainers and jockeys not huge fans of the course. Nowadays the event spans little over a mile with an intriguing finish that incorporates four hurdles.
Finally, you have the famed Grand National Course; the course itself spans four miles 514 yards but so often it’s the final stretch that defines the winner. If your backed horse is still standing after the last hurdle then you’ve got a real chance to scoop glory in the near 500-yard dash to the finish line.
If a visit to Aintree sounds right up your street then you’ll want to understand more than just the courses themselves; the paddocks are key for the visitor experience. There are lots of them too; in fact, there are so many we won’t touch on them all here. What you want to consider is whether you’re there for the atmosphere of the festival itself – in which case the Festival Zone might be for you – or whether you’re looking for the more ‘well to do’ taste of Aintree; if your desire is the latter then the Platinum Lounge could be the one. Here you’ll loom over the finish line and be able to see the winner’s parade afterward.
Aintree Racecourse FAQ
When did Aintree first open?
The course first opened in February 1829.
How many courses makeup Aintree?
There are three courses at Aintree; they are the Grand National Course, the Mildmay Course, and The Hurdles’ Course.
What is the biggest event held at Aintree?
Unquestionably, the Grand National.
Does Aintree hold race meets other than the Grand National?
Yes. Key Aintree dates for your calendar include the Old Roan Chase in October and a trio of chase events that are held in December.
What other sporting events is Aintree famous for?
Whilst horse racing is a sport synonymous with Aintree, the course also contains a golf course and, in the fifties and sixties, it also hosted Formula One.