Here are my top 10 tips for any Aintree newbies heading to the Grand National 2017.
- Go by train. It’s near impossible to park a car around there and you can’t drink Prosecco for breakfast if you’re driving! Trains will run from Liverpool to Aintree every 7 and a half minutes during key times, but you’ll need to check the details due to a planned strike action on Saturday 8th April.
- If you’re heading to Ladies day, dress like you’re going to a Royal wedding. Get noticed for the right reasons. Eye-catching bold colours are good- just make sure your tan isn’t equally as bold. You don’t want to end up in the worst dressed gallery for looking like you applied your fake tan with crushed wotsits.
- Boyfriends and husbands attending the main day event should wear something on par with their female counterparts. Chinos and corduroys are fine – the slimmer the cut the better. Suits are also a popular choice – go for a colour a bit bolder than the daily office suit. (In 2015, I swear I spotted about 10,000 men wearing identical blue suits and beards. Some had sunglasses and watches as accessories. And a few were sporting Malibu Ken tans.)
- Unless you’re heading to the enclosure, of course (The Steeplechase). It’s casual attire in there and totally acceptable and somewhat mandatory not to dress up. #You’renotatRoyalAscottodaylove #scruffsallowed #pauperswelcome #comfortprevails #leaveyourhatathome
- Charge your mobile. You’ll need it to text your friends to locate them in the throngs after each and every visit to the bar.
- Take the plenty of cash – I think it’s about £30 for a bottle of wine. #Don’tquotemeonthat #Toodrunktoremember
- Wear heels (Wedges are better as they prevent you from sinking into the mud) but take some roll up pumps in your bag. You might be the height of Bilbo Baggins in flats, but you won’t care less when you’re limping home crying. The train station also sometimes has peeps handing out flop flops on your way home.
- Unless you’re in a nice warm hospitality box (lucky you), take a brolley. Us Northern girls are known for going out without a coat, but dare I suggest you take one? (ducks and runs for cover). There’s often wind to keep you holding onto your hat and a couple of…ahem…April showers.
- Be prepared to see bugger all of the main race and instead spend some time slipping and sliding down the embankment before settling on just watching it on the big screen instead.
- Pick a winner. You might want to take it seriously and look at all the odds and weights and trends of the runners before placing your considered bets. Or you might be like me and be all sentimental about it (“Two quid on ‘Saint Are’ ‘cos I’m from St.Helens”).
Either way, I hope you win. And enjoy yourself if you’re going. It’s always a day to remember! Xxx