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  • Opening Ceremony to be held on first day of Grand National Festival

    Henry James

    AINTREE Racecourse will stage an Opening Ceremony for Grand National Thursday of The Randox Health Grand National Festival, Thursday April 4.

    The Opening moment will start with a new addition this year - the prestigious Royal Marine Marching Band.

    The Red Devils will return and land near to the Winning Post and Laura Wright will perform prior to the first race of the day.

    The iconic Red Devils parachute jumpers will return with six to eight jumpers carrying the Union Jack and Randox flags will descend onto Aintree’s hallowed turf with sporting soprano Laura Wright performing with the Royal Marines during their descent.

    As part of the ceremony, the new Randox Health Grand National trophy will be presented by the Red Devils to Aintree chairman, Rose Paterson, Liverpool Legend, Sir Kenny Dalglish and Randox owner and managing director, Peter Fitzgerald.

    John Baker, managing director of Aintree Racecourse, said: “The Randox Health Grand National is a three day spectacle of fun, excitement and first class racing and so we feel it’s fitting to kick the Festival off with a spectacular Opening Moment on Grand National Thursday.

    “Delighted to have the impressive Red Devils as well as a new element, the Royal Marine Marching Band to create an electric atmosphere. Add all of this to a day which consists of four Grade One races and our celebration of Merseyside Sport, we can’t wait for it to start!

    “We’re pleased to sell out on grandstand side for Grand National Day. There’s still have a few tickets left for Grand National Thursday and Ladies Day but are selling fast.”

    Arguably one of the best days racing in the UK Jumps calendar, it is only one of three racedays during the entire British Jump season to offer four Grade One (G1) contests. Uniquely, Grand National Thursday is the only day of the year with two open G1 races and two G1 contests for novices and is headlined by the Betway Bowl, staged over three miles and a furlong of the Mildmay Course.

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