Aintree Racecourse Opens Gates to Local Community

21st October 2014

Aintree Racecourse, home of The Crabbie’s Grand National, is delighted to announce it will be giving free access to people in the local community for The Betfred Becher Chase Raceday on Saturday 6 December, with the initiative being supported by Racing UK.

The Betfred Becher Chase is a Grade Three National Hunt chase with a total prize fund of £140,000. It is one of the most exciting days in the racing calendar and Aintree will be opening its gates to the people of Merseyside to show its commitment and gratitude to the local community.

The initiative has been driven by Racing UK (Sky 432/Virgin 536/Freeview 231/UPC 411) which has organised free entry at many of its 34 racecourses from 15 October to 31 March.

On the day, racegoers will be able to see some of the country’s leading horses and jockeys compete over The Grand National fences for the first time in the 2014/5 jumps season and it will act as an early season trial for The Crabbie’s Grand National in April 2015, which will be the 168th running of The Grand National race and the second year of the sponsorship with Halewood International owned Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer.

Two races will be run over The Grand National fences on Saturday 6 December - The Betfred Becher Chase and The Betfred Grand Sefton. There will also be plenty of activity off the track to keep people entertained.

The world famous racecourse will also be launching its new Community Programme at The Betfred Becher Chase Raceday, which will aim to provide opportunities and make a difference to children and adults in Merseyside.
The Aintree Community Programme will involve working in collaboration with Liverpool FC Foundation, Everton in the Community, Alder Hey Hospital, The Walton Centre as well as other organisations, to provide a variety of inspiring opportunities to support people in the community.

John Baker, North West Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses, commented:

”Aintree Racecourse is primarily a racing venue, but in reality it is much more, it is part of the cultural landscape of Liverpool and a world renowned sporting venue for the people of Merseyside.
 
”We are delighted to give free access to people in our community to enjoy some fantastic racing over The Grand National fences as well as having a great day out.

“We are also really pleased to launch our new long term community programme to help improve people’s lives in Merseyside. This is a great new project that we are all extremely passionate about and we look forward to working with our partners to help support the community.”

Betfred spokesperson, Mark Pearson, said:

“We are a North West based company and we are delighted by this initiative to give the opportunity for local people to watch top-quality racing for free.”

The Betfred Becher Chase is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run over a distance of 3 miles and 2 furlongs (5,230 metres), with 21 fences to be jumped. Two winners have gone on to win the Grand National; Amberleigh House and Silver Birch. Earth Summit won the race in 1998 following his Grand National win earlier that year.
 
All racegoers from Merseyside and beyond will have free access to Aintree Racecourse on The Betfred Becher Chase Raceday which is being supported by Racing UK.

Free tickets can be obtained by visiting www.aintree.thejockeyclub.co.uk or by calling 0844 579 3001. Racegoers can also visit the sales office at Aintree Racecourse during opening hours of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. People are limited to four tickets per person. Gates will open at 10am with the first race at 12pm.