ONE of the biggest events on the sporting calendar, the Grand National, is fast approaching.
The three-day festival, culminating in Grand National Day on Saturday, April 11, offers world-class racing, including four Grade One contests, as well as live music and entertainment.
Grand Opening Day will kick off proceedings two days earlier, where the best runners and riders gather in advance of one of the most challenging races - 600 million people worldwide are expected to watch the race live.
The first run at the famous Aintree track was in 1839, and over the years it has become etched in the rich history of the race's greatest success stories.
Red Rum dominated the race in the 1970s, becoming the only horse to triumph three times.
Several years later in 1981, Bob Champion sealed an emotional win on Aldaniti. He had been told by doctors that he only had a few months to live due to cancer.
As well as the incredible stories of triumph, the Grand National attracts a particular interest from betters, as the race boasts quality and unpredictability.
It is run over two circuits of the challenging Aintree track, which includes a number of fences and obstacles, which test even the best jumper.