Your guide to all the runners in the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree.
Whatever your view, there can be no doubting the real-life drama surrounding each and every renewal of the John Smith's Grand National.
Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins is to sing the national anthem at the 2013 Grand National.
Jockey Katie Walsh has paid tribute to her ride Battlefront, who was pulled up on the first day of the Grand National meeting at Aintree and later collapsed and died.
Very sad to lose Battlefront today. We had many great days and he was a great teacher. He was a gent and I will miss him very much!!From @katiewalsh9 on Twitter:
Animal welfare at the Grand National is back under scrutiny after a horse died on the first day of the meeting at Aintree.
Battlefront was pulled up during the fourth race by jockey Katie Walsh and later collapsed and died.
Battlefront had cleared 10 fences in the John Smith's Fox Hunters' Steeple Chase, the first competitive test of significant course changes and new fence frames designed to improve safety.
The cause of his death has not been confirmed but it is thought Battlefront may have suffered a heart attack. A further five horses fell in the race, although none was significantly injured.
Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: "The Aintree authorities and the British Horse Racing Authority have been claiming that major new safety measures and efficiencies would eliminate much of the risk associated with racing on the Grand National course.
"But today's Fox Hunters' Chase, in which Battlefront lost his life, was stomach-wrenchingly chaotic from start to finish. Several horses fell or were pulled up, tired and potentially injured.
"It was both utterly depressing and served as confirmation that the Aintree authorities have got it badly wrong once again."
Battlefront was the 23rd horse to die on the Grand National course since 2000, Animal Aid said.
Deputy Chief Executive at World Horse Welfare, Tony Tyler, has told ITV Daybreak that "having fewer horses at the Grand National would reduce the number of falls."
The first day of the festival was marred on Thursday after a horse died of a suspected heart attack while racing:
Today marks the start of the Aintree festival. Over the next three days more than 150,000 people will descend on the racecourse in Sefton for the Opening, Ladies Day and of course the John Smith's Grand national.
Last year winner Neptune Collonges entered the history books as only the third grey to have ever won the race in its rich 165-year history.
There has been a number of changes to the course following the deaths of two horses during the Grand National. The start will be moved 90 yards closer to the first fence, making it half a furlong shorter.
The controversial 'Becher's Brook' landing zone is being levelled further along with some other fences.
Organisers of the world's most famous steeplechase say improvements to the Grand National course should reduce the risk to horses.
The Cheshire trainer Donald McCain has played a key part in the design of new fences at Aintree, which they hope will prevent further deaths and injuries.
For the first time, plastic and birch will replace the timber fences, and the start of the race has been moved to reduce the number of fallers.