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The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

5 Tips for First-Time Grand National Spectators

The Grand National is not just a horse racing event, it’s an experience. Often touted as the most popular horse racing tournament in the world, an estimated 600 million people tune in to the Grand National worldwide, so if you’re actually going to be attending this year, just know that you’re one of the lucky ones!

As a first-time spectator, you’ve certainly got a lot to look forward to, with plenty of action that will take place throughout the three days. To take advantage and make sure your experience is a success, however, you’re going to need a few tips.

And that’s what we’re here for! Below, you’ll find our top 5 tips for first-time Grand National spectators – so take a read, note them down, and go and enjoy yourself. We’re not jealous at all.

Get to Know the Horses

While most people can’t pitch up at the training paddocks, it is possible to get to know the most popular horses online before going to the event. This offers context about the races and which horses to look out for.

With names like Corach Rambler, I Am Maximus, Panda Boy, and Kitty’s Light, things can get a little confusing if you just drop into a conversation, and because the Grand National is as much about socialising as it is about spectating, we’d recommend you get to grips with what everyone’s talking about!

Eat a Lot Before the Day Begins

Eating a scrumptious, hearty breakfast isn’t the worst of tips to get, so we recommend you follow it. While the Grand National is great fun, it is a very long day, and at some point, you’re going to get hungry. Of course, there are food venues on site, but just remember how many people are going to be there. Does that sound like a queue you want to be standing in? In order to avoid long, time-consuming queues, make sure you eat a big breakfast before the day begins and stock up on some snacks.

Make Sure You Have a Meeting Point

As we mentioned before, the Grand National is just a teensy bit popular. Every year, around 150,000 people attend the Grand National, so if you’re travelling with a group of friends, it’s crucial that you know where you are and where you’re going. We might be in a world of technology, but don’t think that you can just call your friends if you become separated. Because there are so many people, getting a strong phone signal can be a bit of a challenge – and actually hearing them if you do get through even more so. To avoid spending so much time tracking down each other, make sure you ascertain a meeting point and always stick to the plan.

Get to Know the Course

Just as you should get familiar with the horses, jockeys, and trainers competing in the event, it’s similarly important to get to know the course itself. The Grand National course is big, and of the 16 fences that make it up, there are several that have become famous over the years. These include ‘The Chair’, ‘Valentine’s Brook’, ‘Becher’s Brook’, and the ‘Canal Turn’. Especially if you’re into the art of photography, if you know what parts of the course are the most exciting, then you have a better chance of catching the best action. So get some research done and make sure you’re standing in the right spot!

Don’t Leave So Soon!

Just because the races have finished, that doesn’t mean you should pack up and go home. Taking place in Aintree, there are so many things to get up to in the city of Liverpool and make the trip a proper mini-vacation. Whether it’s a sightseeing river cruise, a Liverpool FC stadium tour, or the multiple Beatles attractions, Liverpool is one of the best cities in the UK to explore and have fun. So extend your stay and experience it!