Racing fans ready for the “electric” Grand National

Racing fans are gearing up for an ‘electric’ Grand National as crowds return to the world’s biggest obstacle course for the first time in three years.

Punters have not been to Aintree to cheer on Grand National runners since 2019, after the racing competition was canceled in 2020 and held behind closed doors last year.

They braved rain and freezing temperatures on Saturday to make their comeback.

Siblings Nicky and Steven Baird at Aintree Racecourse for the Grand National (Peter Byrne/PA)

Siblings Nicky and Steven Baird were at the racetrack with their dad George after the family originally planned to come for his 70th birthday in 2020.

Mr Baird, from Glasgow, who wore a plaid suit and bow tie with sparkly loafers, said: “We ended up having a Zoom call for his birthday instead, so not quite like Aintree.

“Today is going to be electric. We want to see Rachael Blackmore win in person this year.”

Ms. Baird added: “We are delighted to be here. I think it’s going to be 100% very special this year, it has to be.

The day is sold out, with 70,000 bettors expected on the Grand National course at 5:15 p.m.

Attendees included Sky Sports presenter Chris Kamara and former Liverpool FC manager Sir Kenny Dalglish.

Randox Health Grand National Festival 2022 - Grand National Day - Aintree Racecourse
Racegoer Judith Beckett at the Grand National (Peter Byrne/PA)

Judith Beckett, 69, from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, returned to class after attending Ladies Day on Friday.

She said: “It’s the big one. It’s wonderful to be back, it was so beautiful yesterday.

“It’s been two long years.”

Ms Beckett wore handmade dresses for the races, with the cream dress she wore on Saturday made of end-of-roll curtain fabric.

Nicole Gray, 23, from Huddersfield, Yorkshire, said: “It’s exciting to be here. I think it’s going to be even better than before because people haven’t been here for three years.

Rachel Carhart, 30, from Prescot, Merseyside, was at Aintree for her 10th time.

She said, “I love it, it’s my favorite day. The atmosphere is amazing. »

Her friend Gabriella Nielson, 27, said: “We’ve missed it so much. It’s such a good day for everyone to come together.

“When you win, it’s the best feeling ever.”

Carl and Laura Gallimore had traveled from Birmingham to come to Aintree for the first time.

Mr Gallimore, 38, said: ‘We just had to take shelter to miss the big downpour but the sunglasses are back now so fingers crossed it’s going to be a great day.

Ian Hares, 36, and a friend, from Andover, Hampshire, were also visiting the racecourse for the first time.

He said, “It’s amazing. I’ve watched the Grand National on TV all my life and always wanted to be here, so it’s a huge thrill.

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