Aintree Grand National 14th April 2007 

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Aintree Previews New Facilities Ahead of John Smith's Grand National Meeting


Aintree Racecourse offered guests an opportunity to preview its new Grandstand facilities ahead of the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National meeting, when it hosted its annual Northern Media Lunch in the Earl of Derby Stand on Tuesday, March 27. This event is traditionally timed to coincide with the second forfeit stage for the world's greatest steeplechase, and this year, for the first time, the publication of the handicap weights for the John Smith's Topham Chase, which will be run over the National fences on Friday, April 13.

The 2007 Grand National meeting will take place at Aintree racecourse in just over two week’s time, Thursday April 12 through to Saturday, April 14. Aintree’s new Grandstands, the Earl of Derby and Lord Sefton Stands, will be opened for racegoers to use for the first time at the three day meeting.

The ambitious building project, which has been funded with assistance from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) as well as Aintree’s own resources, has vastly improved facilities for all customers of the racecourse. This iconic site can now boast world-class facilities for a world-class venue. Phase one of the project, the building of the racecourse’s new Weighing Room and Winner’s Enclosure complex, was completed for the 2006 Grand National meeting.

In addition to Aintree’s current Grandstands, the Princess Royal, the County and the Queen Mother Stands, the Earl of Derby and Lord Sefton Stands, will both provide five tiers of premium viewing facilities for racing and in addition, will provide fantastic amenities for the racecourse’s conference and events business. On the ground floor, two terraces will provide viewing for 1,400 racegoers, with 800 seats spread across two tiers within each Grandstand. Levels one and three of each stand will offer breathtaking corporate facilities, with restaurants holding 300 and 600 diners respectively. Level five of both Grandstands hold six private suites for corporate customers. All facilities offer panoramic views over the racecourse from vantage points never before experienced at Aintree.

Aintree’s International Equestrian Centre will provide an arena for Aintree to host a variety of equestrian events. This facility will also double up as Aintree’s largest enclosure for racing in the form of the Aintree Pavilion, providing vastly improved facilities for the racecourse’s Tattersalls customers.

The new Grandstand and International Equestrian Centre / Aintree Pavilion development has increased Aintree’s raceday capacity by 3,000 within the two Grandstands, and provides additional capacity within for an additional 5,000 racegoers with the Aintree Pavillion.

Speaking about the boost Aintree’s new facilities will have on the North West economy, Steven Broomhead, NWDA Chief Executive, said: “Aintree racecourse is one of the Northwest’s major tourism assets, attracting 200,000 visitors to the region every year and by improving the facilities here we expect to attract many new visitors to the region. Estimates indicate that the new business could be worth as much as £1.2 million a year to our tourism industry, and the new facilities will certainly provide a higher quality visitor experience. With Aintree’s enhanced ability to host world-class events, we hope to see an increase in the contribution it makes to the visitor economy of the Northwest.”


Meeting Update – Tickets

With just over two weeks to go until the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National meeting, the racecourse reports demand for tickets for the meeting has been exceptionally strong. However, tickets and corporate hospitality are still available for the three-day meeting.

County Enclosure tickets are available on both opening day (Thursday) and Grand National day (Saturday). County Enclosure tickets on Thursday start from £35, with tickets in the County Enclosure starting at £70 on Grand National day. West Tip Seats are also available on Thursday, priced at £17. Tattersalls tickets are available to purchase for each day of the meeting (Thursday £15, Friday £25, Saturday £33) and offer vastly improved facilities and entertainment within the new Aintree Pavilion. John Smith’s No Nonsense Enclosure tickets can be purchased for Saturday only and cost £15.

The Advance Booking Office at the racecourse is now open on Grand National Avenue. Racegoers are advised to purchase their preferred option in advance of the meeting as ticket choices can’t be guaranteed on the day.

Advance Booking Office opening times are as follows:
Monday, March 26 – Friday, March 30 9.00am - 6.00pm
Saturday, March 31 10.00am - 4.00pm
Monday, April 2 – Thursday, April 5 9.00am - 7.30pm
Good Friday Bank Holiday, April 6 10.00am - 5.00pm
Saturday, April 7 10.00am – 5.00pm
Easter Monday Bank Holiday, April 9 10.00am – 6.00pm
Tuesday, April 10 – Wednesday, April 11 9.00am - 8.00pm


Final Grand National for Aintree Managing Director

The 2007 John Smith’s Grand National meeting will be the last for Aintree’s long serving Managing Director, Charles Barnett. Barnett, 58, has seen the world’s most famous steeplechase and the racecourse as a leisure facility go from strength to strength during his 15 years at the course. He will take up a new post as the Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse following Aintree’s Ladies Night meeting on May 18.

During his time at Aintree, crowd figures for the festival meeting have trebled and total prize money for the Grand National meeting, raised from £651,000 in 1993 to a record £2,320,000 (€3,480,000 (Euros)) in 2007.

Reflecting on his time at Aintree, Barnett said: “It’s a real wrench to leave Aintree and I am of course very sad but by the same token, I’m looking forward to the opportunity that Ascot presents. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and have no doubt that the Aintree team will continue to deliver the racecourse and Grand National meeting at Aintree to new heights. It is still very much a firm ambition to raise the total prize fund of the John Smith’s Grand National to £1million and plans are already in place to ensure this ambition is achieved.”


Aintree Announce All Star Judge Line-Up for Style Contest

Aintree’s racegoers will be under celebrity scrutiny in the 2007 Looking Good Style Contest as judges were today announced for the 2007 event. Thursday’s contest will feature amongst the judging panel, Coronation Street actress and singer of Hear Say fame, Kim Marsh.

Ladies’ Day crowds will be under the watchful eye of actress Sheree Murphy, who will be tasked with picking finalists out of the 1,300 entrants that are expected to proceed through the Style Contest area on the second day of the meeting.

Finalists from Thursday and Friday will be invited back for a VIP day out on Grand National Day when Coleen McLoughlin will present prizes to the winners of each Style Contest category (most stylish male, most stylish female and most stylish over 40s racegoer). The overall winner will be the person deemed to be the most stylish racegoer for racing at Aintree and will be presented with a fantastic Citroën C4 Coupe, designed to look good on the road by three times World Rally Champion, Sebastian Loeb.

Racegoers wishing to take part in the 2007 contest can pre-register before Friday 30th March and in doing so will receive a £10 voucher for Andrew Collinge Hair and Beauty. Entry to the contest will be available on the day.

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