Grand National to be run at 5.15pm
THE Grand National will be put back to 5.15pm next year, the latest ever start time for the biggest horse race of them all. Since 2006, the National has been staged at 4.15pm but organisers Aintree are hoping a tea-time slot on April 9 will attract a bigger television audience. This year a peak figure of 8.8million watched the race, broadcast for the third time on Channel 4. That was up on 2014 but significantly lower than the 11m who watched in 2012, the last time it was on the BBC. Confirmation of the move is expected at the Grand National launch today at the Lambourn stable of Oliver Sherwood, trainer of this year’s winner Many Clouds. Aintree chief John Baker hinted yesterday at a big announcement but denied sponsors Crabbie’s have decided not to renew their three-year deal, which ends in 2016. Aintree is part of the Jockey Club racecourse group, which is also considering a tea-time slot for the Derby.