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Running the rule over Grand National Ladies Day

Bet on Ladies' Day at Aintree with William Hill

Friday 13th April

What to wear on Friday 13th April

What may come as something as a surprise is that there’s no official Aintree dress code to adhere to across the three days of the Grand National meeting.

Ladies Day falls on the second of these three days, which this year is Friday 13th April. It remains to be see if results will be unlucky from a betting perspective, but it shouldn’t be from the fashion side.

Visitors are encouraged to stay smart and dress to impress, with plenty of colour typically the order of the day.

Hats or fascinators are optional over compulsory. Fancy dress and sports clothes are the only outfits definitely not allowed.

Aintree Grand National Ladies Day – the big races

There are seven races on the Aintree card on Friday 13th April this year and it is the four Grade 1 races that are the most valuable.

Altior may not be running in the Melling Chase at 3:25, but the field does still include Champion Chase runner-up Min and the Cheltenham Festival’s Ryanair Chase victor Balko Des Flos.

Santini finished third in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival to suffer the first defeat of his career. He is the likely favourite in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at 4:40.

Earlier in the day at 2:20 is the Top Novices’ Hurdle, which is a race typically contested by those who ran in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Claimantakinforgan and Vision Des Flos are expected runners in 2018.

Then comes the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at 2:50, which is another featuring many Cheltenham runners, with Black Corton, Terrefort, Ms Parfois and Coo Star Sivola all squaring off over 3m2f.

Aintree Grand National Ladies Day – the minor races

Elsewhere on the card is the Topham Handicap Chase at 4:05 over the Grand National fences. Keep an eye out for horses from the team of Nicky Henderson, who has trained three of the last five winners.

The action begins at 1:45 with the Alder Hey Children’s Charity Handicap Hurdle and then closes at 5:15 with the Weatherbys Racing Bank Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

The ladies in action over the Grand National meeting

There are various female horses, jockeys and trainers who will be chasing victories across the three days of the Aintree meeting.

Focusing on the Grand National itself, this is the first time since 1988 that three female jockeys will line up to take part.

Katie Walsh has previously secured the best result by a female jockey when finishing third on Seabass in 2014. She rides Baie Des Iles this year.

Bryony Frost has already won this season on board Milansbar and she will get her first career Grand National ride on the same horse.

Meanwhile, Rachael Blackmore has never even visited Aintree previously, but she will be riding Alpha Des Obeaux for trainer Mouse Morris. Morris won the 2016 Grand National with Rule The World.

Three female trainers have been Grand National winners in the last 10 years. Venetia Williams sent out 100/1 outsider Mon Mome to victory in 2009, Sue Smith won with 66/1 shot Auroras Encore in 2013 and then last year One For Arthur triumphed for Lucinda Russell.

Smith saddles I Just Know this year, while Williams is set to run Houblon Des Obeaux.

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