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All Roads lead to Aintree from here

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Noone stages racing quite like the City of Liverpool.

It’s the equine capital of the world for the three days of the Grand National meeting with the world’s greatest steeplechase THE most watched race on earth on the Saturday.

But there’s more to it than that- just ask the locals. Friday, National eve, is quite simply a Liverpool Institution. It’s officially called Ladies Day. The racing is world class but along side it runs a sight seeing tour without equal. Tickets go on sale in December and are snapped up by the men folk of this great City as Christmas Presents for their good ladies.

They are then despatched to purchase something to wear in the January sales- an outfit duly worn in April come rain, snow, sleet, hail or 30 degree heat- you get the picture!

The pre meeting visit on Tuesday was amid overcast skies- it’s not been as wet as in other parts of this so called ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ but all the talk, especially amongst the taxi travelling fraternity is of the greatest meeting in the world- and Friday in particular.

The Saturday, it seems can look after itself- its close to a sell out and they’ll descend on Merseyside from all over the world. How fitting for a race first run in 1839 and won on that occasion by a horse called Lottery.

It’s less than a fortnight away and the anticipation is growing- 57 horses stay on course for the race, Ireland could have as many as 18 runners.

And before that- Ladies Day- uniquely described as one where ‘Dress is Optional’

No wonder we can’t wait to go back.

Mike ‘Keep the halo straight’ Vince

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