Grand National Start times, Dates and Race Day Programs

Last Updated 19 Apr 2018 | Commercial content | 18+

This year, the tapes go up on the 2018 Aintree Grand National Meeting on Thursday 12th April with the Grand National Start times first race at 1:45pm and broadcasting beginning for the race at 2:20pm on ITV1. The Aintree Grand National Festival is always spread over three days (Thursday-Saturday) with the Grand National staged on the Saturday. The gates open at 10:30am each day so racegoers have time to get into the course. The action continues over the three day event. Friday 13th April is Ladies Day and Grand National Day is the sell out day on Saturday 14th April 2018.

What date and time is the Grand National?

In recent years the Grand National start times have been put back to 5:15pm and is now shown on ITV1. The later race time is mainly to attract more viewers as when the race was run around 4pm there were generally a lot of other sporting events – like football – going on at that time too. So now you can watch the Grand National at 5:15pm on Saturday 14th April 2018.

As the Aintree gates open around 10:30am each day, racegoers will have plenty of time to get into the course before the first race. With bars and restaurants open all day, plus corporate boxes and suites offering lunch before the racing starts, then many racegoers will flock to the track between 10:30am and 11am in order to make the most of their day.

The track will also have other entertainment going on so if you are attending the 2018 Grand National Meeting on any of the three days then be sure to explore. Generally, there are shops and stalls onsite that will sell anything things like racing fashion or racing memorabilia like pictures or books.

Also look out for competitions dotted around the track – for example ‘Best Dressed Lady’, Best ‘Dressed Man’, or ‘Best Dressed Couple’. There can often be some decent sponsors prizes for the winners, like cash or even a car! To help you plan your Grand National Day here are the expected running times for each race over the three days.

Grand National Thursday – A Day for Champions – THURSDAY 12TH APRIL 2018

Grand National Start TimesITV1RaceDistancePrize Money £
1:45pmThe Merseyrail Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)2m 4f100,000
2:20pm*The Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grand 1)2m 1f100,000
2:50pm*The Betway Bowl Steeple Chase (Grade 1)3m 1f150,000
3:25pm*The Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)2m 4f200,000
4:05pm*The Randox Health Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase (Class 2)2m 5f40,000
4:40pm*The Betway Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3)2m90,000
5:15pmThe Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)2m 1f45,000

Grand National Friday – Ladies Day – FRIDAY 13TH APRIL 2018


Grand National Start TimesITV1RaceDistancePrize Money £
1:40pmThe Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)2m 4f70,000
2:20pm*The Crabbie’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)2m ½f100,000
2:50pm*The Betway Mildmay Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)3m 1f100,000
3:25pm*The JLT Melling Steeple Chase (Grade 1)2m 4f200,000
4:05pm*The Randox Health Topham Steeple Chase (Grade 3)2m 5f120,000
4:40pm*The Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)3m ½f100,000
5:15pmThe Weatherbys Champion Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)2m 1f45,000

Grand National Start Times – SATURDAY 14TH APRIL 2018

Grand National Start TimesITV1RaceDistancePrize Money £
1:45pmThe Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)3m ½f70,000
2:25pm*The Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)2m 4f100,000
3:00pm*The Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)2m100,000
3:40pm*The Betway Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed)3m 1f70,000
4:20pm*The Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle (Registered as the Liverpool Hurdle) (Grade 1)3m ½f150,000
5:15pm*The Randox Health Grand National Steeple Chase (Grade 3)4m 2½f1,000,000
6:15pmThe Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle (cond’ and amat’) (Class 2)2m ½f50,000

Check ticket availability as well as our handy betting guides. For our recommended bets, best odds and tips, make sure you check here. We have tipped 6 of the last 14 Grand Nationals!

Grand National Betway Bowl Chase

Grand National Festival – Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, Britain – April 12, 2018. Might Bite ridden by Nico de Boinville in action (R) before winning the 14:50 Betway Bowl Chase. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY @SCANPIX

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