From Glyndebourne to Glastonbury - A social calendar for the 21st century
John Smith's Grand National
04 April, 2013 - 06 April, 2013
Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool
A highlight of the sporting year, the prestigious Grand National race attracts a worldwide television audience of over 600 million viewers, but its dramatic fences and thrilling finishes are best seen in the flesh.
First run in 1839, this world-renowned 7.5-km (4.5-mile) steeplechasing marathon is one of the very few major sports events in which amateurs - both jockeys and trainers - can take on professionals.
Riders face 30 of the most challenging fences in jump racing, including The Chair and the notorious Becher's Brook. The latter, named after a rider who fell into its ditch in 1839, features a steep drop followed by a left-hand turn, and is the most testing fence of any horse race.
The Meeting is held over three days, culminating in the Grand National Race, which is run at 4.15pm on the final day, Saturday.
All tickets and grandstand badges for the Grand National can be purchased from Aintree by the following methods: online, by phone (24 hours), by postal booking form (which can be found online), or in person.
Arrive early to walk the course, a circuit taking about an hour. The best race views are to be had from the very limited West Tip seats in the recently improved Tattersalls Enclosure with its new Aintree Pavilion - from this area spectators can see The Chair, as well as the parade ring and winner's enclosure, and enjoy access to a private bar.
Jockey Daryl Jacob rode Neptune Collonges to victory in 2012.