Aintree Racecourse History

Aintree racecourse is the home of arguably the greatest event in horseracing, the Grand National 2012. The course is also one of the most formidable in the United Kingdom and the names of some of its fences and obstacles have become household names.

The history of Aintree Racecourse is inseparable from the history of the Grand National. The land at Aintree was first leased by innkeeper William Lynn to host horseracing, and the first horse race held on the track was the Croxteth Stakes.

Despite competition from the nearby Maghull Racecourse, Aintree grew steadily in popularity, attracting tens of thousands of spectators. In 1936 William Lynn made the decision to host the first Hunt race at Aintree, intrigued by the success of London’s St. Alban’s Steeplechase. The race was organised over a circular course, allowing the spectators to witness both the start and finish of the race.

For two years after the first Aintree National Hunt race the steeplechase championships were moved to Maghull, and if it weren’t for the poor turf conditions and swamp-like conditions after the rains the race may well have remained at Maghull to this day. Fortunately, in 1839, the race was back at Aintree marking the advent of the Grand National era.

Aintree racecourse history was not without incident. Following the Second World War, Aintree fell onto hard times and attendances dropped at its premier event, forcing the owners of the course to sell it to property developer Bill Davies in 1973.

Although Bill Davies agreed to let racing continue, for a while it seemed that both Aintree Racecourse and the Grand National had no future. Fortunately in 1975 the management of the course was taken over by a sports betting company and the course’s prospects improved overnight.
Bill Davies decided to sell Aintree in the early 1980s and despite the positive developments of the past few years it seemed all might be lost. The course was finally saved in 1983 when the Jockey Club, assisted by public donations, bought Aintree from Davies.

Within a few years the fortunes of Aintree had improved. Several powerful corporate sponsors injected money into the course and its events, and the crowds returned. Today Aintree Racecourse history is at the heart of National Hunt racing, and plans are afoot to redevelop the historic course.

Aintree - Aintree
John Smith's Grand National Chase (Grade 3 Handicap) (Class 1) - 16:15
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Seabass 8 13/2 15/2 15/2 8 11/2 7 15/2
On His Own 10 8 9 9 10 8 10 9
Cappa Bleu 12 12 12 11 12 12 12 12
Chicago Grey 12 11 12 11 12 11 12 12
Teaforthree 12 10 12 11 12 10 12 12
Colbert Station 12 12 11 12 12 12 14 12
Imperial Commander 14 11 16 14 14 11 16 16
Balthazar King 16 16 16 14 16 16 20 16
Rare Bob 20 16 22 16 20 16 20 18
Sunnyhillboy 20 25 20 20 20 20 20 20
Roberto Goldback 22 25 25 20 22 25 20 22
Join Together 20 25 20 25 20 25 20 20
Ballabriggs 20 20 20 28 20 20 16 20
Always Waining 25 33 28 28 25 33 33 33
Soll 33 33 40 28 33 33 33 33
Big Fella Thanks 40 33 33 33 40 33 40 33
Harry The Viking 33 40 25 33 33 40 40 33
Quiscover Fontaine 40 40 33 33 40 40 50 33
Quel Esprit 40 40 40 33 40 40 50 40
Across The Bay 33 40 33 33 33 40 40 40
Treacle 33 40 33 33 33 40 33 33
Saint Are 40 66 50 40 40 66 66 40
Lost Glory 50 50 66 50 50 50 50 50
Forpadydeplasterer 50 66 66 50 50 66 66 66
Weird Al 50 66 66 50 50 66 66 66
Joncol 50 50 50 50 50 50 66 50
What A Friend 50 33 50 50 50 33 66 66
Becauseicouldntsee 66 66 50 50 66 66 80 66
Auroras Encore 66 66 66 50 66 66 80 66
Oscar Time 50 66 66 66 50 66 50 66
The Rainbow Hunter 66 66 80 66 66 50 80 80
Swing Bill 80 80 100 66 80 80 80 66
Viking Blond 80 66 100 66 80 66 80 80
Major Malarkey 80 50 100 80 80 50 100 80
Ninetieth Minute 66 80 100 80 66 80 66 66
Mr Moonshine 80 66 80 80 80 66 66 80
Tatenen 66 100 66 100 66 100 66 100
Any Currency 100 100 100 80 100 100 66 100
Tarquinius 100 100 100 80 100 100 80 100
Mumbles Head 100 100 100 80 100 100 66 100
Pentiffic - NR - - - - - -
Mortimers Cross - NR - - - - - -