- Ahead of The Randox Grand National, The Jockey Club has partnered with coveted British designer Richard Quinn to transform the racing silks of previous Grand National Winners, Red Rum, Aldaniti and Minella Times, into high fashion couture.
- Modelled by the first female jockey to win the Grand National, Rachael Blackmore, boxer and judge of this year’s Ladies Day Style Awards, Natasha Jonas and soprano Laura Wright, each garment has been expertly crafted to celebrate the rich heritage of horseracing.
- The garments will be available for auction, with all proceeds going to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.
Celebrated British fashion designer Richard Quinn has transformed the colours of three of the most iconic winners of the Randox Grand National into bespoke couture garments to be auctioned off for charity after next week’s race.
Commissioned by The Jockey Club – which owns Aintree Racecourse – Quinn has combined the heritage of the world’s most famous horse race with the glitz and glamour of Ladies Day, which takes place on Friday 14th April on the eve of the Grand National.
The resulting bespoke garments pay homage to the red and gold of three-time Grand National winner Red Rum, the white and blue colours of 1981 hero Aldaniti and the yellow and green hooped silks of legendary racehorse owner JP McManus, whose Minella Times made history in 2021 by helping Rachael Blackmore become the first female jockey to win the race.
Designer Quinn, who was the recipient of the 2018 Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, tailored each of the garments to the specific measurements of three of the Randox Grand National’s most high profile ambassadors.
In a special photo shoot at Aintree to promote the auction of the garments for Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool - the Randox Grand National’s charity partner - Rachael Blackmore, the most successful jockey in Jump Racing history, joined Ladies Day ambassador and world boxing champion Natasha Jonas and soprano Laura Wright, who will sing the national anthem on Grand National Day.
The photos were taken at three of Aintree’s most recognisable locations - The Weighing Room, McCoys Museum and the 1750 hospitality suite overlooking the track.
Rachael Blackmore wore the yellow and green colours she carried to victory with partner Minella Times, reimagined in a dramatic hooped opera coat, a velour bodysuit and a boned satin bodice. A classic Richard Quinn silhouette, the contemporary couture gown pays homage to Blackmore’s groundbreaking 2021 achievement.
She said: “Horseracing and fashion often go hand in hand and this is such a fantastic thing to be doing to raise money and awareness for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the amazing work they do.
“It was fun to shoot something so different, it’s definitely not how I would usually be walking around Aintree!
“These designs do a great job of capturing the vibrant colours you see at Aintree throughout the Randox Grand National Festival, which help to make it such a special three days.”
World champion boxer Natasha Jonas models the Aldaniti-inspired cocktail dress, which uses the colours of the 1981 winner to reflect the essence of that era’s glamour, complete with opera gloves.
Jonas, who will judge this year’s much-anticipated Style Awards on Ladies Day at Aintree, said: “As a boxer who is used to spending so much time in the gym this is a very different look for me, but what Richard Quinn has done is incredible.
“It’s been an honour to wear one of his dresses for this photo shoot and as someone who is local to the area it’s extra special to be able to do this for Alder Hey. I really hope a dress this fabulous finds a deserving home in the auction and raises lots of money.”
Soprano Laura Wright wore the colours of Red Rum, who remains the only three-time winner of the race having triumphed in 1973, 1974 and 1977.
The silks have been reimagined as a jumpsuit inspired by the 1970s – the decade of Red Rum’s extraordinary success - with custom printed silk in gold and burgundy harlequin. Flowing bell sleeves, flared trousers and caping complete the look, which Wright will show off at Aintree on Saturday 15th April to perform the national anthem at this year’s Randox Grand National.
She said: “It’s 50 years since Red Rum won his first Grand National it’s quite something to be asked to wear this and represent probably the best-loved racehorse in British history.
“I absolutely love how Richard has taken these iconic colours and turned them into such a spectacular outfit. I hope we can help raise a huge amount of money for Alder Hey.”
Designer Richard Quinn said: “It’s been an honour to work on this collection for The Randox Grand National, pairing my love of British heritage with my passion for mastering unique patterns to encapsulate something special.
“Tying inspiration from the jockey’s silks with ’70s, ’80s, and 2000s haute couture allowed me to be fluid with my designs. Although a capsule collection focused on horseracing’s history, each is timeless in its own right. I’m so pleased the proceeds will go to such a great local cause.”
Dickon White, North West Regional Director for The Jockey Club, added: “The combination of world class horseracing and the glitz and glamour that Liverpool’s racegoers bring to Aintree Racecourse every year makes the Randox Grand National Festival what it is today.
“Richard Quinn has done a superb job of marrying up the historical significance of some of Aintree’s most memorable winners with high end fashion to deliver something quintessentially British and I can’t thank him enough.
“I am delighted that by auctioning these designs we will be raising money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, who we have supported for many years and enjoy a special relationship with.”
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