With a high quality and exhilarating start to the meeting already in the past, Friday of the Grand National meeting at Aintree is Ladies Day and is Liverpool’s most important social event of the whole year. Many celebrity faces appear on camera on this day, especially those associated with footballers based in the area! Prizes are given out during the day for Aintree’s most stylish and best dressed race goers. This meeting is particularly well supported and especially when race goers get lucky with the weather, when the sun shines there is no other race day quite like this one.
As always the action on the turf does not let us down either with another two Grade One’s and a pair of Grade Two races run on this day as well. The full seven race card shapes up like this;
• Top Novices’ Hurdle – a Grade Two race to start the day off for novice hurdlers aged four and over. There are nine hurdles to be taken over a trip of two miles and half a furlong.
• Mildmay Novices’ Chase – another Grade Two event, this time a chase race over three miles and one furlong for those aged five and over. The runners tackle fully nineteen fences. Crowd favourite Big Bucks won this race in 2008 before reverted to hurdles and going on to win four consecutive World Hurdles at Cheltenham and four consecutive Liverpool Hurdles at this meeting.
• Melling Chase – the fourth Grade One of the meeting already, the Melling is a two and a half mile chase featuring sixteen fences and is contested by those aged five and upwards. Past winners include top notch chasers Viking Flagship, Native Upmanship, Moscow Flyer, Voy Por Ustedes and Master Minded.
• Topham Chase – run over the National fences, the Topham is a handicap chase race featuring eighteen fences over two miles five and a half furlongs. Horses aged five and over may enter.
• Sefton Novices’ Hurdle – another Grade One race, the Sefton is run over a long trip of three miles and half a furlong. Horses aged four and older may enter and will tackle thirteen hurdles.
• Handicap Hurdle – a typically competitive Aintree handicap hurdle with Listed status. A usually large field will jump eleven hurdles over a two and a half mile trip.
• Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race – the ‘bumper’ race finishes the card and is a high class one with Listed status. A trip of two miles and one furlong is run for a handy prize.
As well as the three day badges on offer, race goers can choose to come only to this race day if they wish. Many take up that option as Ladies Day at Aintree is one of the most important social occasions anywhere in the north west of England. The middle day of any three day festival is always exciting as the atmosphere and excitement build towards the big event, and this one is no different.