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Aintree Festival to launch with Grand Opening Ceremony

For the first time, there will be a ceremony to open the Randox Health Grand National Festival on Grand National Thursday (April 13).

The ceremony will begin at 12.30pm, with the Scots Guards parading from the racecourse entrance and marching past the Parade Ring and in front of the Grandstands.

The Scots Guards form part of the Guards Division, and is one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army.

From 1pm, a parade of past Grand National Champions will be on show in the Parade Ring including Bindaree, Neptune Collonges, Silver Birch, Mon Mome and Pineau De Re with commentary by Gordon Brown and connections of the horses.

The Red Devils are a world famous British Army parachute display team that exists to recruit for the British Army and at 1.25pm 6-8 jumpers will be landing in front of the Grandstands displaying the Randox Health flag, an Aintree Racecourse flag and the Union Jack flag during their descent.

As the Red Devils land near the winning post, they can then be seen handing over the brand new Randox Health Grand National Trophy to Aintree and Randox Health representatives.

Sporting Soprano and Aintree ambassador for a third year, Laura Wright will perform Land of Hope and Glory which will mark the end of the opening ceremony, and the start of what is a spectacular day of racing.

For more info visit www.randoxhealthgrandnational.co.uk