The three-day Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse kicks off on Thursday 7th April 2022, with a tribute to the Merseyside city that is home to the world’s most iconic steeplechase.
The modern Aintree is a testament to a resurgent city of Liverpool, the regeneration of the famous dockland hub going hand-in-hand with Aintree’s rebirth as one of the finest racecourses in Britain and a fitting home to the Grand National Festival.
The opening day features the Grade 1 Aintree Bowl and Aintree Hurdle as well as top-level novices’ events over hurdles and fences.
Betting Tips and Predictions
Click the race names below to go straight to the latest tips and betting predictions ahead of the races.
Grand National Festival Day 1: Liverpool’s Day Racecard April 7th 2022
The opening afternoon from Aintree features a quartet of Grade 1 races to satisfy any jumps racing fan, with the highlights being the Aintree Bowl and Aintree Hurdle. The opening day programme in full is below.
|13:45||Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)||2m4f||£100,000|
|14:20||Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)||2m1f||£100,000|
|14:50||Aintree Bowl Steeple Chase (Grade 1)||3m1f||£150,000|
|15:25||Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)||2m4f||£200,000|
|16:05||Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase (Class 2)||2m5f||£40,000|
|16:40||Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3)||2m||£90,000|
|17:15||Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)||2m1f||£45,000|
The opening contest is fittingly a Grade 1 chase for rising stars. This race can throw together horses that have done well at the Cheltenham Festival in races such as The Arkle, RSA Chase or the Marsh Novices’ Chase. (Note that the Grand National Festival did not take place in 2020 due to the Pandemic).
|2018||Finian’s Oscar||Robbie Power||5/2|
|2017||Flying Angel||Noel Fehily||5/1|
The Grade 1 four-year-old hurdle is run over two-miles and a furlong and can reunite protagonists from the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham on this flatter circuit. In 2019, Pentland Hills became the latest horse to win both races at the UKs major spring festivals for trainer Nicky Henderson.
|2019||Pentland Hills||Nico de Boinville||11/4|
|2018||We Have A Dream||Daryl Jacob||2/1|
|2017||Defi Du Seuil||Barry Geraghty||4/11fav|
The feature staying chase at the Aintree Festival, the Bowl was originally intended as a consolation for horses beaten in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham but is now a major Grade 1 in its own right. Paul Nicholls has won the race a record four times.
|2021||Clan Des Obeaux||H Cobden||5/2fav|
|2018||Might Bite||Nico de Boinville||4/5fav|
|2017||Tea For Two||Lizzie Kelly||10/1|
Run over 2m4f, Aintree’s Grade 1 hurdle for older horses is less of a speed test than it’s Cheltenham counterpart but no less demanding. Buveur d’Air, in 2017, was the last horse to complete the major double.
|2018||L’Ami Serge||Daryl Jacob||5/1|
|2017||Buveur d’Air||Barry Geraghty||4/9fav|
The Foxhunters’ is the key race on the Aintree programme for amateur riders and produces a fitting test of their credentials over some of the toughest jumps in Britain.
|2021||Cousin Pascal||Mr James King||66/1|
|2019||Top Wood||Tabitha Worsley||14/1|
A competitive handicap chase over two-miles named in honour of one of the Grand National greats, this fiercely run contest isn’t one for the faint of heart.
|2021||Editeur du Gite||Joshua Moore||9/1|
|2019||Moon Over Germany||Rachel Blackmore||11/2|
|2017||Double W’s||Brian Hughes||8/1|
A concluding Grade 2 Mares’ bumper to complete the day one programme at Aintree, the race is run in memory of Nickel Coin, the winner of the 1951 Grand National.
|2021||Me Too Please||Rachael Blackmore||14/1|
|2019||The Glancing Queen||Wayne Hutchinson||5/1|
|2018||Getaway Katie Mai||Jamie Codd||15/8fav|
|2017||Dame Rose||Alain Cawley||14/1|