Everything you need to know about Aintree racecourse


Aintree racecourse first staged jumps racing in 1836. The Merseyside racecourse is home to the world’s most famous steeplechase, the Aintree Grand National. Run over an extended 4m 2f, it’s sees 16 different obstacles of varying size jumped over two circuits in what is considered the ultimate test for horse and jockey. The Ginger McCain trained Red Rum won the Grand National an incredible three times, finishing runner-up on two other occasions, so is widely considered the greatest horse ever to take to the unique spruce covered fences.


Other important races that take place over the National Course at varying distances are the Becher Chase, Foxhunter Chase, Grand Sefton Chase and Topham Chase. Aintree also has the Mildmay course with traditional National Hunt style obstacles. As well as the three-day Grand National meeting in April, there is quality racing which takes place in October and November or December. At Openodds.com, our experts will be providing Aintree tips and analysis for all the big races, including on the hugely popular Aintree Ladies Day on the eve of the Grand National, so make sure you check them out. Our team will also recommend a bookmaker to bet with went it comes to Aintree horse racing events, as well as providing you with all the latest betting news in the build up to the prestigious Grand National meeting. Read on to discover all.


Popular betting events at Aintree and the Grand National meeting



Thursday: Aintree Bowl among four Grade 1 contests


The Grand National meeting kicks off the a feast of top class action which includes four Grade 1 contests. The cream of the established British and Irish chasers often do battle in the Aintree Bowl, a 3m 1f contest sponsored by Betway – the official betting partner for the meeting. Over the smaller obstacles, the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle over 2m 4f is often the target of those who have run in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The last to complete the big race double was Buveur D’Air in 2017. The other Grade 1s are the Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle over 2m and the 2m 4f Manifesto Novices’ Chase. Hunter chasers also get the chance to strut their stuff over the Grand National course in the Foxhunter Chase.


Friday: More top class action on Aintree Ladies Day


Aintree Ladies Day is one of the most popular in the National Hunt calendar and features another four Grade 1 races. The big two over the larger obstacles are the 3m 1f Mildmay Novices’ Chase and the Melling Chase over 2m 4f. Native River won the former in 2016 before going on to capture the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Top Novices’ Hurdle is over 2m, while the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle is a 3m test for up-and-coming staying stars. The National fences are raced over in the 2m 5f Topham Handicap Chase, a Grade 3 contest won an incredible three times by Always Waining between 2010 and 2012.


Saturday: All eyes on the Grand National


It’s time for the big one itself, the Randox Health sponsored Grand National. The race is a spectacular event which sees 30 fences jumped, including Becher’s Brook and The Chair – the highest of them all. Two of the last three runnings have been won by leading Irish owners, Gigginstown House Stud. There famous maroon and white colours were carried to victory by Rule The World (2016) and Tiger Roll (2018). Supporting the Grand National itself on the big day are three Grade 1 contests. They are the 2m 4f Mersey Novices’ Hurdle, the 2m Maghull Novices’ Chase and the Liverpool Hurdle for stayers over 3m.


Other Aintree racecourse meetings


Away from the fabulous three-day Grand National festival, there’s an excellent meeting in October of which the feature is the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase. This a limited handicap over 2m 4f which was won in 2006 by brilliant subsequent dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star. Monet’s Garden, a dashing grey trained by Nicky Richards, holds the record number of wins in the race having captured the prize three times in 2007, 2009 and 2010. In November or December, meanwhile, the Grade 3 Becher Handicap Chase takes place. This is a key trial for the Grand National and One For Arthur finished an eye-catching fifth in it before going on to land the big one in 2017. A Grade 2 chase over 3m 1f on the Mildmay course named in honour of the hugely popular 2015 Grand National hero Many Clouds also takes place on this card, along with the 2m 5f Grand Sefton Chase – a handicap also run over the National course.


Who is the best bookmaker for betting on Aintree racecourse events?


As with most big meetings, there is a wide range of bookmakers offers available when it comes Aintree horse racing during Grand National week. So who is the best to use when backing our Aintree tips, or your own? We would recommend Betway. They are the official betting partner for the meeting and, as a result, often go top price about runners in most of the races. This means that you are getting the best value when placing your bets, despite the fact that they are not best odds guaranteed. Betway also offer specials over the three days and different sign up offers. These can include enhanced prices for a red-hot favourite to win a race. For example, they can go 30/1 about an odds-on shot winning one of the Grade 1 contests. There are terms and conditions attached, which include a max stake of just £1, so make sure you check them out. Although it would be great if you could place a big bet on such offers, they still give you a great chance to boost your betting bank. Betway also offer enhance place terms when it comes to big field handicaps like the Topham or Grand National itself.


All the Aintree betting tips you need


The three-day Aintree Grand National meeting is one of the biggest betting events in the National Hunt calendar. There are 21 races that take place and our experts analysing them all to find where the value lies. Our team are regulars at all the Aintree meetings, so know what is required to be successful at the Merseyside venue and how important course form can be in trying to find winners. Just like all big meetings, horse racing here during Grand National week is ultra-competitive. As a result, our Aintree tips will feature three possible punts for each race. These are a main selection (considered the most likely winner), a main danger and an each-way play that can outrun bigger odds and make the frame. With many bookmakers offering enhanced place terms in the big field handicaps, backing each-way can return some handsome profit for smaller stakes. It’s all about directing you to the value and allowing you to decide which selection suits you punting needs – and our experts are committed to do just that. Other main meetings at the track will also come under the Openodds.com spotlight, so have got everything covered when it comes to providing the best Aintree tips.


  • Compare bookies’ odds with our odds comparison tool

  • Always make sure you’re placing the value bet

  • Research the races

  • Check out odds via our patented comparison tool


Expert advice and news on Aintree races to consider


If you are new to betting, then understanding the terminology involved can often prove hard and even be off-putting. We’re here to help and have produced a glossary of terms to make it easy for you to get to grips with the language surrounding betting. From each-way betting to ante post punting, different types of multiple bets, and the difference between graded races and handicaps are among subjects covered. Checking out our glossary will enable you to quickly get the answer to anything that is puzzling you when it comes to placing your bets. This allows you to take a punt with real confidence, safe in the knowledge you understand things better.

As well as providing tips for all the main meetings at Aintree, our team of experts will be closely monitoring all the betting news and breaking stories in the build-up to the Grand National. Initial entries for the big one, plus five-day declarations and details of weights carried will all be among topics covered as soon as details become available. There will also be stats guides and features on trainers and leading contenders, so you’ve got the complete package and everything you need when it comes to betting at Aintree.


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