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Stakes high at Aintree Ladies' Day

Prizes worth £26,000 are up for grabs at Aintree for the best dressed race-goer on Ladies' Day. Judges, including Liverpool 'X Factor' star Rebecca Ferguson, will adjudicate on the Style Awards. The winner will be given a Mini Cooper Roadster.

Organisers say they want to attract as many entries as possible. They have removed the requirement for contestants to register. Instead, giant frames will be placed around the course, with entrants invited to step into them to have their photos taken. Stylists will be on hand beside each frame to help ensure contestants are looking their best.

Ladies' Day will kick off with a new event, The Grand Women Summit. Over 120 delegates will meet to discuss women in business, racing and sport. Delegates will also be given a walk of the course, led by Irish Grand National winning jockey, Katie Walsh.

Aintree Racecourse has denied that photographers taking unflattering photos at Ladies' Day will be banned from the course. But they say they are asking the press to act responsibly and "respect the dignity" of people attending the event.

The major racing event of the festival, the Grand National, will take place on Saturday afternoon. Champion jockey A P McCoy is due to ride the favourite, Shutthefrontdoor, in his last Grand National before he retires.

Advice for Aintree racegoers

Credit: PA Images

Police are issuing advice to racegoers about avoiding anti-social behaviour and pickpockets ahead of this year's Grand National.

The three day Aintree festival gets underway today and is expected to attract 150- thousand people.

Racegoers should expect to undergo a series of security checks, including bag and transport searches and badge checks.

Police Commander, Superintendent Dave Charnock, said: "Aintree is always a fantastic occasion which attracts visitors from across the world and I am confident this year's festival will be no exception.

"We want people to have a safe and enjoyable time and make sure their day at the races is memorable for all the right reasons."

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Jockeys boycott inquiry into Grand National false start

An inquiry into the start of the Crabbie's Grand National has been referred on to the British Horseracing Authority after jockeys chose not to participate in the on-course hearing. The BHA released the following statement on their website:

Officials called an inquiry after the starter reported the riders had lined up despite being advised by the assistant starter, who was positioned in front of the field, that it was not yet race time, and then proceeded towards the start.

The stewards report said that when the riders moved forward towards the start they knocked down the assistant starter, thereby compromising the welfare of an official.

After taking initial evidence from the riders and the starting team, the stewards adjourned the inquiry to consider the matter.

The report said that in attempting to reconvene the inquiry after the last race, the riders, who had not been given permission to leave the course, refused to attend the inquiry.

The only rider not involved was Brendan Powell, whose mount, the Johnny Farrelly-trained Battle Group, planted himself at the start and refused to race.

– British Horseracing Authority
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Leighton Aspell: 'This is what we do it for'

Leighton Aspell retired from racing in 2007 but returned and is now a National winner. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Leighton Aspell has hailed his Grand National win on Pineau De Ray, saying: "This is what we do it for."

"I've been watching the National since I was a very young boy," said the jockey, who quit the saddle in 2007 before returning.

The 11-year-old horse jumped the final fence in a clear lead and his pursuers never looked like bridging the gap as he galloped all the way to the line to secure a momentous five-length victory.

Aspell said he had "craved" success in the famous race after watching others succeed, adding: "To get a chance to ride in the National is a great thing, and to get on one with a chance is even better."

  1. National

Grand National: No horses injured during race

The British Horseracing Authority has said there are no immediate signs of injuries to either horses or jockeys from today's Grand National, in which Pineau De Re came first.

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  1. National

Pineau De Re beats pre-race favourites

Pineau De Re won the Grand National 2014. Credit: Reuters

Pineau De Re came into today's Grand National as a 25-1 shot with bookmakers, but beat more fancied tips Balthazar King (14-1) and Double Seven (10-1) to the finish line in the famous race.

The pre-race favourite, Teaforthree, fell mid-way through the race while a number of other fancied horses also failed.

Grand National Day at Aintree in pictures

Coleen Rooney (second right) has her photo taken with her mother Colette McLoughlin (centre) during Grand National Day Credit: Pete Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Sir Cliff Richard (centre) enjoying Grand National Day at Aintree Credit: Pete Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Minutes applause from Grand National crowd in memory of 25th Anniversary of Hillsborough disaster Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Lac Fontana ridden by Tony McCoy wins the Pertemps Network Mersey Novices' Hurdle Race during Grand National Day Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images
The crowd cheer on the runners in the first race during Grand National Day at Aintree Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Balder Success ridden by Wayne Hutchinson on their way to victory in the Doom Bar Maghull Novies' Steeple Chase Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images
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