Press Centre

The Grand National Festival

  • Episode: 

    1 of 3

  • Title: 

    Thursday
  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 06 Apr 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    2.00pm - 5.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 14 2017 : Sat 01 Apr - Fri 07 Apr
  • Channel: 

    ITV
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday March 28, 2017.
 
The Grand National Festival
 
Ed Chamberlin introduces exclusive free to air coverage of the Grand National Festival live from Aintree.
 
ITV Racing’s coverage is the first time it has screened the festival from Aintree, and this year ITV will feature five races on the opening day and Ladies’ Day in the lead-up to the most famous event in racing, the Randox Health Grand National on Saturday 8 April 2017.
 
The coverage features nine hours’ live footage, taking in five feature races per day, going behind the scenes at the course, featuring interviews with key figures including everyone from stable staff, trainers and owners through to the jockeys as well as racing legends, sampling the atmosphere in the grandstands, with pundits bringing an expert insight into the incredible challenge the course presents.
 
Joining Ed for expert analysis are Sir AP McCoy, Luke Harvey and Mick Fitzgerald, with on-course reporting from Oli Bell and in the paddock with Alice Plunkett. Matt Chapman will have the latest betting news, and Brian Gleeson will provide expert analysis and an Irish angle on the action. Lucy Verasamy will provide weather forecasts, Victoria Pendleton will report from behind the scenes, and expert Eva O’Donoghue will give her views from a veterinary perspective. Richard Hoiles will be in the commentary box.
 
Additionally, former ITV Racing presenter Brough Scott returns to bring his analysis and unique perspective to the festival.
 
On Thursday there are three grade one races to kick off the coverage -The Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (2.20pm), the Betway Bowl Chase (2.55pm) and the Betway Aintree Hurdle (3.30pm), followed by the first race of the meeting over the Grand National Course - the Randox Health Foxhunters' Chase (4.05pm). To finish, a race named in honour of three-time national hero, Red Rum at (4.40pm).
 
Meanwhile on Friday - Ladies’ Day - three grade one races start the card - the Crabbies' Novices' Hurdle (2.20pm), the Mildmay Novices' Chase (2.55pm) and the Melling Steeple Chase (3.30pm), followed by the first race of the meeting over the Grand National Course for professional jockeys - the Topham Chase (4.05pm), and then another Grade One contest to finish the day, the Sefton Novices' Hurdle, at 4.40pm.
 
Alongside ITV’s coverage, hour-long editions of The Opening Show, presented by Oli Bell, will air on ITV4 every morning throughout the festival to preview each day’s action.
 
ITV’s live coverage will also be simulcast on the ITV Hub, on web and app, for viewers to watch online, and our responsively designed ITV Racing site - itv.com/racing. You can also download the free ITV Racing app, which features a new version of the iconic ITV7 competition as well as the latest news and videos.
 
The ITV Racing Twitter account will feature clips during each of the channel’s broadcasts, and the ITV Racing Facebook page will feature daily Facebook Live broadcasts with Oli Bell and guests.
 
This year racing returned to ITV for the first time in 32 years, in a new four-year deal to show UK horse racing on terrestrial television encompassing live broadcasts of almost 100 days of racing each year - including 42 days on the main channel.
 
ITV’s racing calendar includes the Grand National, the Epsom Derby, and all the other major festivals including Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, the Five Classics, plus other highlights such as Future Champions Day at Newmarket and Champions Day at Ascot.