Aintree Racecourse, Lancashire - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
Aintree Racecourse Lancashire - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
Aintree Racecourse is a racecourse in Aintree. The racecourse is best known for annually holding the world-famous Grand National steeplechase.
Steeplechasing at Aintree was introduced in 1836, though flat racing had taken place there for many years prior to this. It is regarded as the most difficult of all courses to complete successfully, with 16 steeplechase fences including renowned obstacles the Chair, Foinavon, Valentine's, Canal Turn and Becher's Brook. These are so infamous that even their names strike fear into the most professional of jockeys. All fences bar the water jump are covered with spruce, unlike at any other course in British National Hunt racing.
Four other races take place over the National fences. These are the Topham Chase (formerly known as the John Hughes Trophy Chase) and the Fox Hunters' Chase at the Grand National meeting, and the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase and Becher Chase in the December meeting. Within the large National course there is also the smaller Mildmay course containing hurdles and fences. These fences are made of traditional National Hunt material. The National and Mildmay courses used to share the water jump, but the water jump is no longer used on the Mildmay course.
Aintree has also been used as a venue for motor racing. The British Grand Prix was staged there on five occasions, in 1955, 1957, 1959, 1961 and 1962. In addition to the Grand Prix, the circuit also held 11 non-championship Formula 1 races, known as the Aintree 200, first won by Stirling Moss in 1954 with the last winner being Jack Brabham, in April 1964.
The only driver to have competed in both horse and motor race is Alfonso de Portago, who competed at the Grand National in his early days as well as in a sportscar race. He was to compete at the 1957 British Grand Prix at Aintree, but he was killed in the Mille Miglia.