Category Archives: Horseracing

Grand National day out

Betting tips and advice for the Grand National 2018

By | The Grand National, Horseracing, Betting Guides | No Comments

The Grand National is the most watched horse race of the year. In fact, it is one of the most-watched sporting events on the planet. Around 600 million people around the world watched the 2017 renewal.Even those who do not gamble for the rest of the year are likely to have a flutter on the National.

Thousands of speculative punters make their selections based on the name of the horse, the colours of the jockey’s silks, their favourite number and other factors.

With five horses so far having won with odds of 100/1, anything goes at Aintree. However, if you don’t have such a system, this guide will help you work out how to bet on Grand National day.

Horse Racing betting

Check out the people form

Checking on the form of the horses is the first thing most experienced bettors will do, but on Grand National day, check on the form of the people involved too. Look for repeat winners among the jockeys and especially the trainers.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, for example, has had two winners in the Grand National in the past 20 years and over a thousand winners of National Hunt races since 1982. Jockey Leighton Aspell has ridden the winning horse in two of the previous four years.

Look for hidden trends

Statistics can help work out how likely it is that certain horses will win or place in the upcoming Grand National. Identifying trends and using these to make your selections might just give you that edge. Here are a few of the statistics to date:

  •  21 of the last 27 Grand National winners carried 10-12kg or less!
  •  9 of the last 10 winners had won or placed in at least one race already that season
  • 9 and 10-year old horses win more Grand Nationals than any other age group
  • Since 1952, 68% of the winners were priced at 20/1 or less
  • However, over the same time period only 11% of winners were priced as the favourite
  •  26 of the last 27 Grand National winners have officially rated at 137 or higher
  • The last 10 winners had previously won a race over 3 miles

It used to be thought that weight was a crucial factor, with very few winning horses weighted at 11.0 or more, but in recent years this trend has turned. 6 of the last 11 winners have been weighted at 11.0 or more, with the change being attributed to the race attracting a better standard of horse.

Applying these statistics to a bet won’t give you any guarantees, but it will give you a good chance of ensuring your bet is sound and your horse has a good chance. Get to grips with these numbers, and you can enjoy picking the horse that you think will emerge victorious.

2018 Grand National favourites

So, after all that, who’s going to win this year’s Grand National?

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Blaklion is the current favourite once again having started the 2017 race at the head of the betting.The nine-year-old star lead last year’s race with two fences to jump but faded and finished fourth. Can he justify favouritism this time around?

Native River, Cause of Causes, Total Recall, and The Last Samuri are also well-fancied among a field of over 30 Grand National Runners.

Cause of Causes was second in last year’s renewal, finishing a reasonably close second to One For Arthur.Gordon Elliott’s 10-year-old certainly has the pedigree and could come into contention once again.

Of the horses lower down the betting, Whisper looks an interesting prospect. Nicky Henderson’s 10-year-old ticks a lot of the trend boxes and has had a good season to date.

Don’t miss out on what should be one of the most exciting sporting spectacles in the world this April.

And don’t forget, you can get all your Grand National odds at Ladbrokes – saddle up!


How to place a bet on horse races

By | Horseracing, Betting Guides, Introduction to Horse Racing | No Comments

Betting on the horses can be a fun and exciting past-time, provided you only bet what you can afford to lose. There are three main ways to bet on the horses – at the track, in a betting shop or online, and each is slightly different.

With any bet, however, it often pays to shop around to get the best odds for your selection by comparing different bookies, shops or websites before making your final decision.

How to bet on horses online

To place a bet online you will usually have to open an account, but once you do you will be able to place your bets from the comfort of your own home with all the information you need at your fingertips.

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One advantage to online betting is that the minimum stakes are often a lot lower than at the racecourse or in the betting shop. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before you sign up.

You need to know what the minimum deposit and withdrawal amounts are, if there are any maximum payouts, whether they accept your preferred credit or debit card, and any other rules that might affect your decision.

As an added incentive, many online bookmakers offer deposit match schemes for your first deposit, such as make a £10 bet and get another £10 bet for free.

Whether you prefer to size up the different bookies by the trackside or decide between the horses online, placing a bet on a horse race is easy. Whatever form your receipt takes (an email or a betting slip), keep a tight hold on it – you might need it if your horse performs well!

Placing a bet in a betting shop

To place a bet in a betting shop you need to collect a slip. These are usually stored on counters or in wall brackets.

Fill in the slip with the name of the racecourse or meeting, the time of the race you wish to bet on, the name of your selected horse, the amount you wish to stake and the type of bet that you are placing.

You then hand this to the cashier and receive a receipt, often a photocopy of your slip. You will need this in order to collect your winnings if your horse comes in, so hold onto it carefully.

Placing a bet at the racecourse

There are usually lots of bookies at the racecourse and they will all be set up in a row close by one another. This makes it easy to wander up and down to find the best odds for your bet.

Once you have made your selection and found the best odds, simply approach the bookmaker and state clearly the number of the horse, the type of bet you wish to make and the amount of your stake. Remember that each-way bets are double, so if you ask for a £2 each-way bet it will cost you £4.

Bookies at the racecourse only take bets for the next upcoming race so you will have to go back each time, but you won’t need to state which race you want to bet on. Be sure to hang onto your ticket as that’s the only way you can claim your winnings.

Other than at the Tote, you will usually only be able to place win and each-way bets with most bookies. There will be a minimum bet, which is usually £2 but some bookies will take £1 bets – if so, they will advertise this.

Horse Racing betting

Horse racing odds explained

Horse racing takes place up and down the country every day of the year apart from Christmas Day.
Racing can generally be split into two seasons – the jumps and the flat. All-weather racing, on the other hand, goes on all year round.
To work out which bet you want to make, you’re likely to want to look at four main factors.

  • The form of the horse
  • The type of ground
  • The distance
  • The Class of the race

These four elements will make a difference to the price of a horse before the start of a race.
Horses can be stepped up or down in distance which then alters the stamina they require in order to win a contest.
Likewise, a sharp change in the weather conditions can dramatically alter the odds of a horse. A horse that prefers running on Good to Firm is going to be longer odds if the ground has been confirmed as Heavy.
Finally, the Class indicates the level a horse is running at. If a horse that has won in Group or Graded company (the highest level) steps down in class, their odds will likely shorten.

Weights, especially in handicap races, should also be considered.

Types of horse racing betting

There are several different ways you can bet on horse racing.

The most straightforward of these is picking an outright winner. If you place £10 on a horse at 4/1 and it crosses the line first, you win £50 (£40 winnings, plus your stake).

Each-way betting is another popular way of staking on races. It involves placing two wagers on the same horse in a single bet. A £5 each-way bet consists of £5 on a horse to win and £5 on a horse to place, creating a total stake of £10.

This way, even if your horse fails to win, you could still get a return on your bet if it finishes in the runner-up positions.

If your selection comes home in the place positions you will be paid out at 1/4 or 1/5 of your horse’s original odds. This is often dependent on how many horses run in the race.  Bigger renewals like the Grand National offer more places and more chances to win for speculative punters.

Forecast betting involves picking the 1st and 2nd horse home. This can be straight, reverse or in any order.

You can also pick horses to go into a traditional win accumulator, although with horse racing there are also variations available.

A Trixie consists of three doubles and a treble, while a Yankee has four selections with 11 separate bets; six doubles, four trebles and a straight four-fold.

Canadian, Heinz, Lucky 15, Lucky 31 and Lucky 63 are other variants that comprise a multitude of different bets within them.


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What are the different types of ‘specials’ in football betting?

By | Football, Betting Guides, Premier League, The FA Cup, The Champions League | No Comments

You know the score – literally: betting in football largely revolves around predicting which team will outscore the other.

When it comes to the specials market however, you’re able to do more than pick a winner. Have your say on the potential score line, pick which manager’s next in the sack race, or who’s going to miss a penalty at the weekend; there’s everything to play for.

Winning margin

As its name suggests, this bet requires you to guess the winning margin during a particular match.

Fancy Leeds United to beat Charlton Athletic by two goals? If you place a two goal winning margin bet and either Leeds or Charlton win 2-0, 4-2, 5-3, 12-10, or by any other two goal margin, you will see a return on your stake.

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Clean sheet odds

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a team gets a clean sheet when it manages not to concede a single goal during the course of a match. Arsenal were renowned for incredible defensive play back in the 1980s and 1990s, so the odds of a clean sheet may have been 1/6 around that time.

However these days, they’re known for lacking strength in defence, and that will mean that the odds of them getting a clean sheet are higher.

Penalty/Missed penalty

Penalties are often the cause of heated discussions between pundits and punters alike both during and after football games.

As a result, it’s perhaps no surprise that bookies allow you to bet on whether a spot kick will be awarded and whether the taker will score or miss.

Ladbrokes website odds betting

Results minute markets

If you want to be really specific, you can place a bet that applies for exact portions of a match. This means you can bet on whether there’ll be a goal or a booking between the 10 and 20th minutes, for example.

You can even bet on how many corners will be awarded during that period. In fact, there’s virtually no limit to the precise predictions on which you can place bets.

Red card

We know that some footballers are more passionate than others and get booked more often as a result.

Some get booked for over-zealous celebrations, whereas others get yellow cards for getting a bit carried away during disagreements with the referee.

The precise reasons for the double booking or straight red card don’t matter; as long as you’ve placed that winning bet, you’ll see a return.

Next manager

This is another popular special bet. With managers coming and going so frequently, there is always speculation as to who will be taking over, so punters can have a go at making predictions.

The specials market gives you the chance to add an extra flair to your football watching, allowing you to have your say on both the on- and off-field antics that surround the beautiful game.

From red cards to clean sheets, the list of specials on which you can bet is practically endless.

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What is a football accumulator and how do I place a bet?

By | Football, Betting Guides, Premier League, The FA Cup | No Comments

Football accumulator betting has become very popular in the UK over the last two decades. In fact, they have become something of a ritual to many football fans across the land.

In some ways, accumulators have become as important as the games themselves (well, almost).

So what exactly is a football accumulator, and how do you go about placing a bet?

What is it?

A football accumulator is a bet that combines two or more selections into a single bet. It will only give you a return when all of your selections win.

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Why should I place an accumulator bet?

The main benefit of placing an accumulator bet is that your winnings will be much greater than if you placed a single bet, since the risk of losing your bet is higher. In fact, just one of your selections needs to fall for you to lose your whole bet.

In the unlikely event that one of the teams you’ve bet on doesn’t play, you won’t lose your stake. Instead, we’ll recalculate your accumulator as though it hadn’t contained the selection. So if you have a 5-fold accumulator, it then becomes a 4-fold instead.

Of course, betting on so many games happening at the same time adds to the sheer thrill of it all. Almost every Saturday, when there are over 40 matches going at once all over the country, your options are almost limitless. This can transform any contest into a crucial game.

Many fans agree that no other type of betting matches the thrill of having that last-minute goal clinch your accumulator. And while accumulators play a part in other sports too, they have become very much part of football culture for many punters.

How do I place an accumulator?

It really couldn’t be easier. Simply choose your bets and tick the winning team of the matches you want to add, and our system will add them to your online betting slip.

You can also make use of our Bet Calculator to help work out the potential profit on an accumulator bet.

The amount of money you can win with an accumulator is almost without limits: your winnings accumulate with each correct selection. But beware – the more teams you add to your accumulator, the less your chance of winning.

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The complete Grand National winners list

By | The Grand National, Horseracing | No Comments

The Grand National has been run almost every year since the first race in 1839, with every rider eager to make their way onto the prestigious winners list.

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The only exceptions were in the war years. During the First World War the race continued, but was run at Gatwick on a substitute course. During World War Two the race was abandoned between 1941 and 1945. In 1993 after 30 of the 39 runners failed to recognise a false start and ran anyway the race, in which Esha Ness came first, was declared null and void by the Jockey Club.

Since its inception over 175 years ago, the jockey with the most Grand National wins is George Stevens. The Cheltenham-born rider won the famous race an astounding 5 times, peppering the Grand National winner list between 1856 and 1870. In the modern era, Richard Dunwoody, Carl Llewellyn, Ruby Walsh, and Leighton Aspell have all won it twice. Steeplechaser Red Rum holds the record for most Grand National wins for a horse. Ginger McCain’s star won a remarkable treble of races in 1973, 1974, and 1977.
Today, the Grand National draws a worldwide audience and a flurry of horse racing bets from casual and expert fans alike.

The below table shows the winners of every Grand National from 1839 to the present day, with the Gatwick races and void race highlighted in red.

Year Horse Jockey Winning time
1839 Lottery Jem Mason 14:53
1840 Jerry Bartholomew Bretherton 12:30
1841 Charity A. Powell 13:25
1842 Gaylad Tom Olliver 13:30
1843 Vanguard Tom Olliver Not recorded
1844 Discount John Crickmere Under 14:00
1845 Cure-All William Loft 10:47
1846 Pioneer William Taylor 10:46
1847 Mathew Denny Wynne 10:39
1848 Chandler Captain Josey Little 11:21
1849 Peter Simple Tom Cunningham 10:56
1850 Abd-El-Kader Chris Green 9:57.5
1851 Abd-El-Kader T. Abbott 9:59
1852 Miss Mowbray Alec Goodman 9:58.5
1853 Peter Simple Tom Olliver 10:37.5
1854 Bourton John Tasker 9:59
1855 Wanderer John Hanlon 10:25
1856 Freetrader George Stevens 10:09.5
1857 Emigrant Charlie Boyce 10:06
1858 Little Charley William Archer 11:05
1859 Half Caste Chris Green 10:02
1860 Anatis Tommy Pickernell Not recorded
1861 Jealousy Joseph Kendall 10:14
1862 The Huntsman Harry Lamplugh 9:30
1863 Emblem George Stevens 11:20
1864 Emblematic George Stevens 11:50
1865 Alcibiade Captain Henry Coventry 11:16
1866 Salamander Alec Goodman 11:05
1867 Cortolvin John Page 10:42
1868 The Lamb George Ede Not recorded
1869 The Colonel George Stevens 11:00
1870 The Colonel George Stevens 10:10
1871 The Lamb Tommy Pickernell 9:35.7
1872 Casse Tete John Page 10:14.5
1873 Disturbance J. M. Richardson Watch stopped
1874 Reugny J. M. Richardson 10:04
1875 Pathfinder Tommy Pickernell 10:22
1876 Regal Joe Cannon 11:14
1877 Austerlitz Mr Fred Hobson 10:10
1878 Shifnal J. Jones 10:23
1879 The Liberator Garrett Moore 10:12
1880 Empress Tommy Beasley 10:20
1881 Woodbrook Tommy Beasley 11:50
1882 Seaman Lord Manners 10:42.4
1883 Zoedone Count Karel Kinsky 11:39
1884 Voluptuary Ted Wilson 10:05
1885 Roquefort Ted Wilson 10:10
1886 Old Joe Tommy Skelton 10:14.6
1887 Gamecock Bill Daniels 10:10.2
1888 Playfair George Mawson 10:12
1889 Frigate Tommy Beasley 10:01.2
1890 Ilex Arthur Nightingall 10:41.8
1891 Come Away Harry Beasley 9:58
1892 Father O’Flynn Captain Roddy Owen 9:48.2
1893 Cloister Bill Dollery 9:32.4
1894 Why Not Arthur Nightingall 9:45.4
1895 Wild Man From Borneo Joe Widger 10:32
1896 The Soarer Lieutenant David Campbell 10:11.2
1897 Manifesto Terry Kavanagh 9:49
1898 Drogheda John Gourley 9:43.6
1899 Manifesto George Williamson 9:49.8
1900 Ambush II Algy Anthony 10:01.4
1901 Grudon Arthur Nightingall 9:47.8
1902 Shannon Lass David Read 10:03.6
1903 Dumcree Percy Woodland 10:09.4
1904 Moifaa Arthur Birch 9:58.6
1905 Kirkland Frank Mason 9:48.8
1906 Ascetic’s Silver Aubrey Hastings 9:34.4
1907 Eremon Alf Newey 9:47.5
1908 Rubio Henry Bletsoe 10:33.2
1909 Lutteur III Georges Parfrement 9:53.8
1910 Jenkinstown Robert Chadwick 10:44.2
1911 Glenside Jack Anthony 10:35
1912 Jerry M Ernie Piggott 10:13.4
1913 Covertcoat Percy Woodland 10:19
1914 Sunloch Bill Smith 9:58.8
1915 Ally Sloper Mr Jack Anthony 9:47.8
1916 Vermouth Jack Reardon Not recorded
1917 Ballymacad Edmund Driscoll Not recorded
1918 Poethlyn Ernie Piggott Not recorded
1919 Poethlyn Ernie Piggott 10:08.4
1920 Troytown Jack Anthony 10:20.4
1921 Shaun Spadah Fred Rees 10:26
1922 Music Hall Lewis Rees 9:55.8
1923 Sergeant Murphy Captain Tuppy Bennett 9:36
1924 Master Robert Bob Trudgill 9:40
1925 Double Chance Major John Wilson 9:42.6
1926 Jack Horner William Watkinson 9:36
1927 Sprig Ted Leader 10:20.2
1928 Tipperary Tim Bill Dutton 10:23.4
1929 Gregalach Robert W. H. Everett 9:47.4
1930 Shaun Goilin Tommy Cullinan 9:40.6
1931 Grackle Bob Lyall 9:32.8
1932 Forbra Tim Hamey 9:44.6
1933 Kellsboro’ Jack Dudley Williams 9:28
1934 Golden Miller Gerry Wilson 9:20.4
1935 Reynoldstown Frank Furlong 9:20.2
1936 Reynoldstown Fulke Walwyn 9:37.8
1937 Royal Mail Evan Williams 9:59.8
1938 Battleship Bruce Hobbs 9:27
1939 Workman Tim Hyde 9:42.2
1940 Bogskar Mervyn Jones 9:20.6
1946 Lovely Cottage Captain Bobby Petre 9:38.2
1947 Caughoo Eddie Dempsey 10:03.8
1948 Sheila’s Cottage Arthur Thompson 9:25.4
1949 Russian Hero Leo McMorrow 9:24.2
1950 Freebooter Jimmy Power 9:24.2
1951 Nickel Coin John Bullock 9:48.8
1952 Teal Arthur Thompson 9:21.5
1953 Early Mist Bryan Marshall 9:22.8
1954 Royal Tan Bryan Marshall 9:32.8
1955 Quare Times Pat Taafe 10:19.2
1956 E.S.B. David Dick 9:21.4
1957 Sundew Fred Winter 9:42.4
1958 Mr What Arthur Freeman 9:59.8
1959 Oxo Michael Scudamore 9:37.8
1960 Merryman II Gerry Scott 9:26.2
1961 Nicolaus Silver Bobby Beasley 9:22.6
1962 Kilmore Fred Winter 9:50
1963 Ayala Pat Buckley 9:35.8
1964 Team Spirit Willie Robinson 9:46.8
1965 Jay Trump Tommy Smith 9:30.6
1966 Anglo Tim Norman 9:52.8
1967 Foinavon John Buckingham 9:49.6
1968 Red Alligator Brian Fletcher 9:28.8
1969 Highland Wedding Eddie Harty Sr 9:30.8
1970 Gay Trip Pat Taafe 9:38
1971 Specify John Cook 9:34.2
1972 Well to Do Graham Thorner 10:08.4
1973 Red Rum Brian Fletcher 9:01.9
1974 Red Rum Brian Fletcher 9:20.3
1975 L’Escargot Tommy Carberry 9:31.1
1976 Rag Trade John Burke 9:20.9
1977 Red Rum Tommy Stack 9:30.3
1978 Lucius Bob Davies 9:33.9
1979 Rubstic Maurice Barnes 9:52.9
1980 Ben Nevis Charlie Fenwick 10:17.4
1981 Aldaniti Bob Champion 9:47.2
1982 Grittar Dick Saunders 9:12.6
1983 Corbiere Ben de Haan 9:47.4
1984 Hallo Dandy Neale Doughty 9:21.4
1985 Last Suspect Hywel Davies 9:42.7
1986 West Tip Richard Dunwoody 9:33
1987 Maori Venture Steve Knight 9:19.3
1988 Rhyme ‘n’ Reason Brendan Powell 9:53.5
1989 Little Polveir Jimmy Frost 10:06.9
1990 Mr Frisk Marcus Armytage 8:47.8 record
1991 Seagram Nigel Hawke 9:29.9
1992 Party Politics Carl Llewellyn 9:06.4
1993 Esha Ness Race Void Race Void
1994 Miinnehoma Richard Dunwoody 10:18.8
1995 Royal Athlete Jason Titley 9:04.1
1996 Rough Quest Mick Fitzgerald 9:00.8
1997 Lord Gyllene Tony Dobbin 9:05.9
1998 Earth Summit Carl Llewellyn 10:51.5
1999 Bobbyjo Paul Carberry 9:14.1
2000 Papillon Ruby Walsh 9:09.7
2001 Red Marauder Richard Guest 11:00.1
2002 Bindaree Jim Culloty 9:08.6
2003 Monty’s Pass Barry Geraghty 9:21.7
2004 Amberleigh House Graham Lee 9:20.3
2005 Hedgehunter Ruby Walsh 9:20.8
2006 Numbersixvalverde Niall Madden 9:41
2007 Silver Birch Robbie Power 9:13.6
2008 Comply or Die Timmy Murphy 9:16.6
2009 Mon Mome Liam Treadwell 9:32.9
2010 Don’t Push It Tony McCoy 9:04.6
2011 Ballabriggs Jason Maguire 9:01.2
2012 Neptune Collonges Darly Jacob 9:05.1
2013 Auroras Encore Ryan Mania 9:12
2014 Pineau De Re Leighton Aspell 9:09.9
2015 Many Clouds Leighton Aspell 8:59.1
2016 Rule The World David Mullins 9:29
2017 One For Arthur Derek Fox 9:30.5

Review at the Races: Newcastle Racecourse

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Cheltenham Festival Grand Annual Chase

Saturday 18th March was a day of gold, silver and green as Newcastle Racecourse celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style. The specially-held ‘Pot of Gold’ party delivered heart-pumping action, Irish dancing and green fizz for our bloggers, who enjoyed the day from the luxury of the Grade II listed Brandling House hospitality suite.

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Some got lucky with a bet, some just sat back and enjoyed the atmosphere, and everyone had a smashing time. Get an inside peek into a day at Newcastle Racecourse as the North East’s top bloggers break down their Review at the Races.


Surrounded by the greenery of High Gosforth Park, our bloggers spent most of the day in Brandling House, a beautiful manor house that dates to 1762, where they ate and watched the horses whiz by:

“We were that close to the track we could see it from our table, and the bar, betting station and toilets were just a stone’s throw away, which was handy in the heels I was wearing, let me tell you!” – Vanessa, Lipstick and Linguistics

“The Gosforth Park suite was excellent, it accommodated a lot of people without being overcrowded, great views of the racecourse and easy access to seating and the public areas.” – Stephanie, Stephaniefox

“Our table was in a great place, as we had a great view of the course through the spanning windows while being able to see the monitors showing us not only our races, but, of course, Cheltenham too!” – Abbie, Chronically Inspired Life

“I felt like we had the ultimate experience here; greeted by Irish Buck’s Fizz, gorgeous table display and a panoramic view of the full race course from out seats. What more could you want?” – Beth, Polished Couture

Food and Drink

In true St. Patrick’s Day spirit, the menu featured a host of festive, Irish-inspired options. Our bloggers tucked in to a three-course buffet:

“The best bit for me is serving your own gravy – I like plenty, there’s nothing worse than a dry Yorkshire!” – Stephanie, Stephaniefox

“The food was delicious and of a far higher quality than I have previously experienced as part of corporate hospitality days. There were a lot of choices, and on this occasion had an Irish theme. Portion size was good and the presentation was beautiful.” – Debbie, My Boys Club

“Looking at the menu, it was quite Irish themed, and I decided to go with salmon for starters, pork, veggies and a Yorkshire pudding for my main, and then a super indulgent white and dark chocolate torte for dessert. The food was amazing and I can say with confidence that I enjoyed every bite!” – Lucy, Just Lucy’s Life

Dress Code

Half the fun is in the race day fashion, and our bloggers enjoyed dressing up and taking in the wide range of stylish ensembles:

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“It was a lush little day – all the lads were suited and booted and the lasses were in their fascinators and fancy frocks.” – Vanessa, Lipstick and Linguistics

“The men were dressed smartly in suits and the women had nice dresses on. It was a smart, dressy occasion. Ideal if you like to get glammed up for the day.” – Chloe, Chloehxx

“I love getting glammed up and, of course, the races are the perfect excuse for it! Everyone looked so lovely, with most women in dresses and the men were either in suits or in smart trousers and shirts.” – Abbie, Chronically Inspired Life

“Although it was quite cold everyone was in high spirits, the men were all dressed up in suits and the girls were in their best dresses. I loved feeling so glam!” – Lucy, Just Lucy’s Life


Hooves a-blur, clutching race cards, throwing your hands in the air in victory – few things can measure up to the race day atmosphere:

“It was exciting and thrilling especially when people’s bets came in!” – Shannon, Cycles With Wolves

“Everyone was in great spirits and happy to be there. The staff were really welcoming, friendly and helpful.” – Chloe, Chloehxx

“There was a lovely atmosphere throughout the day. The racegoers were having a good time but were also respectful, especially when watching the young Irish dancers. It was a very enjoyable, informal occasion and one that I’d be quite happy to repeat.” – Debbie, My Boys Club

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Value for Money

For £102, our bloggers enjoyed a great view of the track, filled their boots at a gourmet buffet and were granted access to the winner’s enclosure. All of which amounted to an incredible experience:

“Given that you get a full three-course meal and speedy waiter service when required, as well as access to all parts of the racecourse, to me it seemed a justified price for that added little bit of luxury to your day at the races!” – Shannon, Cycles With Wolves

“In my opinion it was really good value for money and a small price to pay for all it included: our admission ticket to the premier enclosure, reserved seating in the race day restaurant, our welcome drink, our three-course meal, and our racecard.” – Vanessa, Lipstick and Linguistics

“I’ve been to Newcastle races before but I’d definitely think about doing this sort of package next time, because to me it was worth it if you want to have a great day out.” – Beth, Polished Couture

Review at the Races: Cheltenham Ladies Day

By | Horseracing, Cheltenham Festival | No Comments
Cheltenham Festival Grand Annual Chase

One of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar, the sun shone generously on the fascinators and hats that moved gracefully around the grounds during Cheltenham Ladies Day 2017.

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Amid the excitement and glamour, eight of the UK’s top lifestyle bloggers enjoyed the luxury and hospitality of the Gold Ticket Festival Package.

They basked in exclusive club admission, tote betting service, gourmet courses at the Festival Restaurant and a hospitality team at their beck and call.


On the doorstep of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham Racecourse is a world-famous ground that delivers thrilling sport in breath-taking surroundings:

“We had a warm and friendly welcome from all of the staff and were offered coffee and cookies on arrival – a perfect start to the day. During our meal, the restaurant manager came over and surprised us with a complimentary bottle of champagne for looking so fabulous! The hospitality team really did go above and beyond for us during the day and made the experience even more enjoyable.” – Kate, Katie Charlotte Blogs

“We had a table where all the bloggers sat together for a gorgeous three-course meal, afternoon tea and a few glasses of wine. We watched the races during lunch on the big screen and placed our bets. We then ventured outside to experience the race atmosphere and we watched the races in the sunshine – perfection.” – Hayley, Hayleyjoann

Food and Drink

Our ladies were treated to tea or coffee with biscuits upon arrival, followed by a four-course á la carte lunch and rounded off with afternoon tea and a selection of fine cheeses:

“The Festival restaurant was impeccable; clean, fresh, light and bright, buzzing with lots of people excited for the day ahead. The table was beautifully set; white table cloth, with blue napkins, good quality silverware, and enough wine glasses to sink a ship!” – Cassie Maie, Cassiemaie

“I couldn’t have eaten one more thing at Ladies Day if I’d tried! I’m not exaggerating when I say that the food provision was immense.”- Abbey, Abbey Louisa Rose

“The restaurant itself was lovely, with big screens set up for us to watch the races on and a very neutral theme. The orders for our lunches were taken and then promptly delivered and the food was lovely.” – Rachel, The Inelegant Wench

Dress Code

Some come to Cheltenham Ladies Day for the horse racing, and some come for the fashion. Our bloggers were charmed by tweed and fascinated by fascinators:

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“The majority of men opted for tweed or suits, the standard ‘racing attire’, which fitted the occasion (I have to say the men did look very smart). However, as it was Ladies Day, to see an abundance of colours, outfits, fashion in all its glory from the ladies, was a wonderful sight.” – Cassie Maie, Cassiemaie

“Some ladies went all-out with insanely beautiful fascinators and hats whilst others looked subtly beautiful. I also didn’t know where to look with all the handsome men in suits and tweed…” – Hayley, Hayley Joann

“Being Ladies Day, there were some phenomenal hats on show and no shortage of tweed around.” – Joelle, Just Joelle


Race day can be a rollercoaster, as punters are swept up in the anticipation, thrill and exuberance of the Cheltenham spirit:

“The atmosphere at the races was incredible, our hospitality pass allowed us to access the parade paddock to see the horses and jockeys up close. There must be something about the sunshine, winning bets and a day of drinking that makes everyone you meet at the races super friendly.” – Joelle, Just Joelle

“Everybody was so friendly, and what I enjoyed most was the fact that people would just randomly talk to you; whether they know you or not, sharing tips, friendly banter, what bets have been placed, you name it, it was up for discussion.” – Cassie Maie, Cassiemaie

“But we did take a walk around to really take in the whole atmosphere, and you can’t help but really get into the ‘races’ feeling when you’re there – it’s pretty contagious.” – Emily, Emilybecca

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Value for Money

The Gold Ticket Festival Package cost £370 per person, but the bloggers agreed it was an unforgettable experience that was worth every penny:

“The Festival Package allows you to be wined and dined with a great view of the parade ring, as well as access to the bathroom that only those in the hospitality suites can use (no queuing for the toilet!). Of course, you have the freedom to venture outside and watch all the action from the stands, but it’s a great feeling when your feet start to hurt from wearing heels and you know you can stumble back up to the restaurant and rest for as long as you want – without missing any of the action!” – Kate, Katie Charlotte Blogs

“Being able to access other areas of the racecourse, such as the paddock and winner’s enclosure, made the package that more exclusive, enabling you to really get a good vibe and enjoyment from a day at the races.” – Cassie Maie, Cassiemaie

“The races always offer good value for money and the Festival Restaurant package allows you to enjoy the races in luxury.” – Emma, Emma & 3


Everything you need to know about Aintree Racecourse

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Aintree Racecourse is best known for hosting the annual Grand National, the most famous horse race of the year.

The history of Aintree, however, holds much more than just one race. Over the years the venue has played host to motor-racing events, golfers, amateur flyers and much more.

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History of Aintree

The race track at Aintree was first established by local hotel-owner William Lynn in 1829. In 1836 Lynn added the first grandstand and the race that would later become the Grand National was first run over four miles, with Captain Martin Becher on The Duke winning.

The officially recognised first Grand National, known then as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, was held three years later in 1839, won by Jem Mason riding Lottery. 50,000 people attended the steeplechase, which was fondly dubbed ‘The Grand National’ by a journalist.

This name was made official in 1847 and the iconic race has been known this way ever since.

Motor racing at Aintree

Horse racing is not the only type of racing ever held at Aintree. From the 1950s until the early 80s, the venue was also used for motor racing and hosted the Formula One British Grand Prix five times.

Stirling Moss made history as the first British person to win the Grand Prix at Aintree in 1955.

Getting there

Aintree is easily accessible by car or public transport. Located on the A59, drivers can take the M57 or M58 from where the racecourse is clearly signposted.

There is parking on-site for 1,800 vehicles, which needs to be booked and paid for in advance for the Grand National Festival. It is also served by several bus routes from central Liverpool, and by Aintree railway station linked to Liverpool Central Station.

Events at Aintree

As well as the annual Crabbie’s Grand National Festival, Aintree hosts a number of other prestigious horse racing events throughout the season, including some evening racing in summer and the Old Roan Chase Day in October.

Outside of horse racing, Aintree can be booked as a venue for all manner of events, from weddings and Christmas parties to business conferences, all with the option to be fully catered.

For thrill-seekers, Aintree also hosts Adventure 001 flying experiences, including helicopter lessons, helicopter rides and aeroplane flying lessons on certain dates throughout the year.

There is a nine-hole golf course and thirty-bay driving range situated at Aintree, which is closed on race days but open to the public at other times with no membership fee. The Aintree Equestrian Centre offers a number of free events throughout the season including dressage and show jumping.

Book tickets

The Aintree website provides links for ticket purchase and venue booking. Tickets for the Grand National Festival are available through Viagogo and go on sale in August each year.

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The home of the Grand National, Aintree Racecourse is one of the most famous racing venues in the country, with a rich and interesting history that proves there is more to Aintree than just the race.


10 historic moments from the Grand National

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 The Grand National is a highly prestigious annual event on the National Hunt horse racing calendar. First run in 1839, this yearly race has had more than its fair share of momentous historic moments.

Here are ten of the most memorable experiences from throughout the history of the Grand National.

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  1. The first winner of the Grand National in 1839 was a horse called Lottery ridden by Jem Mason. Lottery won by three lengths after maintaining his lead from the First Brook.
  2. The only year in history when the Grand National was run not on a Saturday, but on a Monday. An IRA bomb scare evacuated 60,000 Aintree racegoers and the site was not declared safe for 48 hours afterwards. Lord Gyllene ridden by Tony Dobbin is therefore the only horse who has ever won the National on a Monday, coming in at 14/1.
  3. In one of the most bizarre turns of events in Grand National history, race leader Devon Loch was five lengths ahead as he approached the finishing post. Before he got there, however, the horse leapt a phantom fence, resulting in his landing on his belly and losing the race. Devon Loch was owned by the Queen Mother, whose only comment on the event was said to be the philosophical “that’s racing”.
  4. Popham Down, racing loose after unseating his jockey at the first fence, caused havoc at the 23rd fence, veering wildly in front of the other riders and causing a mass pile-up which meant that 27 of the remaining 28 horses could not jump first time. Lagging way behind was 100/1 shot Foinavon, who had time to locate a gap and jump first time. While 17 jockeys managed to re-mount and give chase, none were able to make up Foinavon’s lead. The outsider’s success resulted in a record 444/1 Tote payout.
  5. Red Marauder won but was one of only four horses to actually finish the race due to heavy conditions causing way more than the average rate of falling.
  6. Victory for Esha Ness was declared null and void in 1993. The Jockey Club were forced to declare the entire race void after 30 of the 39 jockeys failed to realise a false start had been called.
  7. Jockey Jenny Pitman made history on Corbiere as the duo charged to victory. Pitman was the first ever female jockey to win the Grand National.
  8. Neptune Collonges won by just a nose, the shortest ever victorious distance. He was also the first grey to win the National in more than half a century.
  9. As Bob Champion, cancer survivor, rode Aldaniti to victory there was hardly a dry eye in the land. Their tale has since been turned into a hit John Hurt film, Champions.
  10. 1973-1977. Red Rum, perhaps the most famous racehorse of all time, steals victory not once, not twice, but three times in five years, creating some of the most memorable moments in Grand National history and breaking a record that no-one has yet been able to challenge.

The legendary Grand National jockeys

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The Grand National has showcased some of the most legendary jockeys throughout the history of horse racing. This tough annual race is often full of surprises and, with no less than five winners coming in at odds of 100/1, is by no means an easy race to predict.

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Here, we take a look at some of the most legendary Grand National jockeys and what it was that made them so famous.

George Stevens

Jockey George Stevens was born just six years before the first ever Grand National was run. Beginning his career in his mid-teens, the young George Stevens won 76 races over the 22 years from 1848 to 1870.

His most notable achievement is one that has never been bettered almost a century and a half after his death. George Stevens rode to victory in the Grand National five times between 1856 and 1870, on horses Freetrader, Emblem and Emblematic, and then on The Colonel in two consecutive years.

Thomas Olliver

Thomas Olliver was almost as famous for his antics off the course as on it during his career. A renowned ladies’ man, lover of parties and man of very generous spirit, Thomas Olliver was often referred to as ‘Black Tom’ and spent some time in a debtors’ prison.

Despite this, he also managed to ride in 19 Grand Nationals, including the very first. This record was unbeaten until Tony McCoy rode his 20th Grand National on Shutthefrontdoor in 2015.

Olliver won an impressive three times in the Grand National, riding Gaylad (1842), Vanguard (1843) and Peter Simple (1853). He also finished close second a further three times, leaving him a total of just 4.5 lengths off taking home the most Grand National wins of all time.

Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy, also known as AP McCoy, captured the hearts and the betting slips of the nation in the 2015 Grand National.

Breaking Olliver’s record for most rides, McCoy was priced at an (astounding for such a race) 7/2 on Shutthefrontdoor. Unfortunately, on this occasion he only managed to finish fifth and went on to retire from racing two weeks later after 20 seasons.

At the date of his retirement, AP McCoy was able to boast of having set the record for the most career GB and IRE wins in jumps racing with 4,358 under his belt. He won the Grand National in 2010 on Don’t Push It and has also taken home two Cheltenham Gold Cups.

Bob Champion

Bob Champion won the hearts of the world as he raced Aldaniti to victory in the 1981 Grand National. This victory was a particularly poignant one as Bob had been struggling with a vast array of harsh treatments for testicular cancer for the precious two years.

His triumph over both adversity and thirty Aintree fences won Bob Champion (along with Aldaniti) the Team Award at the 1981 BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony. He formed the Bob Champion Cancer Trust in 1983 and through it has raised millions to help other cancer patients.

Since the inaugural race of 1839, the Grand National has attracted some of the most well-known jockeys, looking to take home the big prize. The competition shows no signs of slowing down, so who knows which legends will emerge in the years to come?