Grand National start times, dates and race day programs

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The Grand National race itself takes centre stage at Aintree each April, but there are actually three days of top quality jumps racing across the duration of the Festival. The 2024 Grand National times and schedule are expected to be rejigged following the decision to move the big race to earlier on the Saturday afternoon, so find out exactly when each race will set off next time round.

What date and time is the Grand National?

It’s all change for Grand National 2024. In recent years, the Grand National start time had been put back to 5.15pm on ITV1. The later race time was mainly to attract more viewers once the 3pm football was over. However a decision has now been taken to get the race started earlier in the afternoon, in order to prevent the ground drying out too much.

We already know you can watch the Grand National on Saturday 13th April 2024, with the confirmed Grand National start time expected to be revealed very soon.

Image via @Coral on Twitter

The Grand National Festival’s highlight is undoubtedly the 34-runner showpiece, but there are a host of top races spread across three days at Aintree each April. The tapes go up on the 2024 Aintree Grand National meeting on Thursday 11th April, and the start time for the first race is 1.45pm, with ITV1 broadcasting the biggest races, and many leading bookmakers also providing free streaming options.

The action continues over the three-day event, with Ladies Day on Friday and Grand National Saturday providing the pinnacle of the meeting.

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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, many racegoers will flock to the track early to make the most of their day.

The track will also have other entertainment going on so, if you’re attending the 2024 Grand National meeting on any of the three days, be sure to explore. Generally, there are shops and stalls onsite that will sell racing fashion items 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!

Here are the expected running times for each race over the three days, to help you plan your Grand National viewing.

Grand National Opening Day – Thursday 11th April 2024

Grand National Start TimesWatchRaceDistancePrize Money £
1:45pm Watch at Paddy Power Manifesto Novices’ Chase2m 4f120,000
2:20pm Watch at Unibet Jewson Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle2m 1f110,000
2:55pm Watch at William Hill Aintree Bowl Chase3m 1f250,000
3:30pm Watch at Betfair William Hill Aintree Hurdle2m 4f250,000
4:05pm Watch at Unibet Randox Foxhunters’ Chase2m 5f50,000
4:40pm Watch at William Hill Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase2m100,000
5:15pm Watch at Paddy Power Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat2m 1f50,000
Grand National Thursday
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Grand National Ladies Day – Friday 12th April 2024

Grand National Start TimesWatchRaceDistancePrize Money £
1:40pm Watch at William Hill Mildmay Novices’ Chase3m 1ftbc
2:20pm Watch at Paddy Power William Hill Handicap Hurdle2m 4ftbc
2:55pm Watch at Betfair Top Novices’ Hurdle2m ½ftbc
3:30pm Watch at Betfair Marsh Chase2m 4f250,000
4:05pm Watch at William Hill Randox Topham Handicap Chase2m 5f150,000
4:40pm Watch at Paddy Power Sefton Novices’ Hurdle3m ½f100,000
5:15pm Watch at Paddy Power Abersoch Land And Sea Handicap Hurdle2m ½f50,000
Grand National Ladies Day
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Grand National Day – Saturday 13th April 2024

The start times for Grand National Day 2024 are yet to be confirmed, and will be detailed here as soon as they’re announced. The expectation is that the Grand National itself will begin earlier than in recent years, and most likely between 2pm and 4pm.

Grand National Start TimesWatchRaceDistancePrize Money £
1:45pm Watch at William Hill EFT Systems Maghull Novices’ Chase2mtbc
2:25pm Watch at Paddy Power Bridle Road Handicap Hurdle3m ½ftbc
3:00pm Watch at Unibet Turners Mersey Novices’ Hurdle2m 4ftbc
3:35pm Watch at Betfair JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle3m ½f250,000
4:15pm Watch at William Hill William Hill Handicap Chase3m 1f100,000
5:15pm Watch at Unibet Randox Grand National Chase4m 2½f1,000,000
6:20pm Watch at William Hill Weatherbys Standard Open NH Flat Race2m 1f50,000
2024 Grand National Day
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Grand National Betway Bowl Chase

Grand National Festival – Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, Britain – 12th April 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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