Opening day of Aintree Festival

Aintree Racecourse staff look at the Chair Fence on the Grand National course Credit: PA

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.

Finishing touches Credit: PA

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.