Arguably the world’s greatest steeplechase returns today for the first time in three years.

Racegoers are gearing up for an “electric” race after punters were allowed back to Aintree to cheer on the Grand National runners for the first time since 2019.

The 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic and last year was held behind closed doors.


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Crowds return to Aintree for the Grand National

HeraldScotland: The crowds have returned to Aintree for today's Grand National. Picture: PAThe crowds have returned to Aintree for today's Grand National. Picture: PA

Siblings Nicky and Steven Baird were at the racecourse with their father George after the family originally planned to come for his 70th birthday in 2020.

Mr Baird, from Glasgow, who wore a checked suit and bow tie with sparkly loafers, said: “We ended up having a Zoom call for his birthday instead so not quite the same as Aintree.

“Today is going to be electric. We want to see Rachael Blackmore win in person this year.”

Ms Baird added: “We’re so excited to be here. I think it’s 100% going to be extra special this year, it has to be.”

There are of course some famous faces in attendance too including Sky Sports presenter Chris Kamara and former Liverpool FC manager Sir Kenny Dalglish.

The day is sold out, with 70,000 punters expected on the course for the highly anticipated race.

What time does The Grand National start?

HeraldScotland: It's been three years since racegoers were able to watch the Grand National in person. Picture: PAIt's been three years since racegoers were able to watch the Grand National in person. Picture: PA

The 40 runners and riders of this year’s Grand National are scheduled to start at 5.15 pm this afternoon (April 9).

How to watch the Grand National

ITV will be broadcasting the race live so you can cheer on your horse from the comfort of your sofa or around your local.

The channel’s coverage of today’s action from Aintree has already got underway and it continues to show all races until 6.15 pm.