Aintree Festival

150,000 people are expected at the Aintree Fesitval over the next few days with the Grand National taking place on Saturday.

Live updates

All eyes on Aintree as McCoy goes for glory

A tribute board signed by racegoers at Ladies Day Credit: Peter Byrne PA

Champion jockey AP McCoy aims to make history at the world's greatest steeplechase later today by winning his last Grand National. The 40 year old gets in the saddle for Aintree's main event for a record breaking 20th time at 4.15pm. Thousands of punters are pinning their hopes on his ride Shutthefrontdoor carrying him first over the finish line.


Ladies Day in full swing at Aintree Racecourse

Racegoers at Ladies Day in Liverpool Credit: Paul Hilton
One woman models a newspaper print dress for photographers Credit: ITV Granada
Singer Rebecca Ferguson poses for photographers on Ladies Day of the Crabbies Grand National Festival Credit: Press Association
Fancy hats on display at Ladies' Day Credit: ITV Granada
Female racegoers at Ladies Day in Liverpool Credit: ITV Granada
Female racegoers arriving ahead of the day's racing on Ladies Day Credit: Press Association
Hat-wearing racegoers arriving ahead of the day's racing on Ladies Day Credit: ITV Granada

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.

Liverpool aiming for future Aintree winner

It may be one of the greatest horse-racing venues in the world but of the 150 riders on the course at Aintree over the next few days not one is from Liverpool.

So why are there so few Scousers involved in this sort of racing? And what are those at Aintree doing about it? Chris Hall has been finding out more.

Aintree Festival: huge responsibility for new National chairwoman

The Aintree Festival is well underway with more than 30,000 spectators attending the first day's racing.

The Grand National is on Saturday and there's a new woman in charge - Rose Paterson - who says it's a huge responsibility and honour to be in control of the famous race.

David Chisnall sent this report from the course.


The Real McCoy

AP McCoy on the Liver building

Liverpool's Liver building was illuminated with an image of one of AP McCoy's finest moments last night. The projection of him winning the world famous Grand National on Don’t Push It in 2010 – together with the words “The Greatest Jockey. The Greatest Race.”

“This year AP McCoy will break yet another record when he becomes the jockey to have had the most rides in the history of the Grand National. Ahead of his retirement and his last ever ride in the race we, together with Great British Racing and the City of Liverpool, felt it appropriate to do something special to honour this sporting legend.”

– John Baker of Aintree racecourse

Queen backs Grand National Hillsborough tribute

The Queen backs carnation tribute at Aintree Credit: PA

The Queen is backing a campaign for Grand National visitors to wear red carnations in honour of the people who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

The Aintree Festival starts today and is expected to attract more than a hundred and fifty- thousand people.

The carnation tribute to Hillsborough victims is the idea of Dave Hughes from Merseyside who says he's overwhelmed by the response. Dave, a lollipop man from Maghull, launched it less than a month ago in the hope that everyone heading to the three-day festival would wear a buttonhole in memory of those who died in the tragedy.

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