Grand National 2017 live on ITV

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The world’s most famous horse race comes to ITV for the first time in 2017 as millions across the nation tune in to watch the 170th running of the Randox Health Grand National on Saturday, April 8, live from Aintree at 5.15pm.

ITV Racing’s live coverage of the three-day festival will feature three hours of action on both Thursday and Friday, with seven of the 10 races across both days at Grade 1 level and all set to feature many of the winners from the recent Cheltenham Festival.

Then on Saturday comes the Grand National itself, the biggest single race in the National Hunt calendar and the ultimate test of horse and rider, which will be covered during a four-and-a-quarter hour afternoon broadcast from 2pm.

The 2017 edition marks ITV’s debut Grand National broadcast in the year it returns to covering horse racing after an absence of more than three decades.

ITV’s coverage will take in five feature races per day, going behind the scenes at the course, featuring interviews with key figures including everyone from stable staff, trainers and owners through to the jockeys as well as racing legends, sampling the atmosphere in the grandstands, with pundits bringing an expert insight into the incredible challenge the course presents.

All three days of racing will be set up by The Opening Show in its familiar 10am slot on ITV4, with Saturday’s show extended from the usual hour to 90 minutes as we build up the excitement ahead of everyone’s favourite race.

Main presenter Ed Chamberlin will be assisted by Oli Bell as chief on-course reporter, who will also host the three Opening Shows.

The unique layout of the Grand National course means three commentators are required, so Mark Johnson and Ian Bartlett will provide back-up to lead race caller Richard Hoiles.

Sir Anthony McCoy is on board for all three days as ITV Racing’s expert pundit, and the 20-time champion jockey – a winner of the Grand National on Don’t Push It in 2010 – will double up as chief Opening Show guest on Saturday alongside Dave Yates of the Mirror.

Robbie Power, the jockey who rode last month’s Gold Cup winner Sizing John and partnered Silver Birch to Grand National victory in 2007 will be the Opening Show guest on Thursday. Katie Walsh, booked to ride Wonderful Charm for Paul Nicholls on Saturday, will fulfil the same role on Friday.

ITV experts Luke Harvey, Mick Fitzgerald and Brian Gleeson will be adding their thoughts throughout the three days, the latter providing regular betting updates alongside Matt Chapman, who will also appear on the Opening Show.

Lucy Verasamy will provide essential weather forecasts through the week, Victoria Pendleton and Brough Scott make guest appearances and Alice Plunkett is on hand for the vital news from the parade ring.

Fashion is key on Friday for Ladies’ Day when Charlotte Hawkins and Mark Heyes will turn their attentions to the special glamour of the occasion.

On Thursday, three grade one races to kick off ITV’s televised action, followed by the first race of the meeting over the Grand National Course, the Randox Health Foxhunters’ Chase.

Ladies’ Day on Friday sees a further three grade one races start the card, followed by the first race of the meeting over the Grand National Course for professional jockeys – the Topham Chase, and then another Grade One contest to finish the day, the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.

With a full field of 40 set to go to post this year in the main race on Saturday, ITV Racing’s coverage will feature a full support card ahead of the 2017 Grand National, with action including the Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle, The Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase, Betway Handicap Chase and the Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle.

ITV’s live coverage will also be simulcast on the ITV Hub, on web and app, for viewers to watch online and on the ITV Racing website – itv.com/racing – helping bring the Aintree showpiece to life, while viewers can also download the free ITV Racing app, which features a new version of the iconic ITV7 competition as well as the latest news and videos.

The ITV Racing Twitter account will feature clips during each of the channel’s broadcasts and the ITV Racing Facebook page will feature daily Facebook Live broadcasts with Oli Bell and guests at 7.00pm.

Following on from its trial at the recent Cheltenham Festival, unique footage from 360-degree cameras in key positions around the course will give social media users a new dimension with highlights of the major action from Grand National day.

The footage, made available at the end of the festival via ITV’s YouTube and Facebook accounts, is designed to allow viewers to immerse themselves in the top moments on and off the course.

Additionally, ITV will be showing the race live for the public to watch on giant screens in locations across London (Westfield, Eat Street), Liverpool (Media Wall), and Manchester (Printworks).

This year racing returned to ITV for the first time in 32 years, in a new four-year deal to show UK horse racing on terrestrial television encompassing live broadcasts of almost 100 days of racing each year – including 42 days on the main channel.

Aintree’s Grand National festival is the second marquee event on ITV’s racing calendar following the Cheltenham Festival, which includes the Epsom Derby, Royal Ascot, the Five Classics, plus other highlights such as Future Champions Day at Newmarket and Champions Day at Ascot.

Full TV schedule and race cards can be found below, while further Grand National Festival information can be found via itv.com/racing.

Every race from the 2017 Grand National Festival will be broadcast live on dedicated horse racing channel Racing UK, including exclusive live coverage of the first and final races of each day.

DAY 1 – THURSDAY 6th APRIL

The Opening Show
PREVIEW  10.00am-11.00am
ITV Racing: Grand National Festival
LIVE  2.00pm-5.00pm

2.20   Doom Bar Anniversary Juvenile Hurdle
2.50   Betway Bowl Steeple Chase
3.25   Betway Aintree Hurdle Race
4.05   Randox Health Foxhunters’ Chase
4.40   Red Rum Handicap Chase


DAY 2 – FRIDAY 7th APRIL

The Opening Show
PREVIEW  10.00am-11.00am
ITV Racing: Grand National Festival
LIVE  2.00pm-5.00pm

2.20   Crabbie’s Top Novices’ Hurdle
2.50   Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase
3.25   JLT Melling Chase
4.05   Randox Health Topham Chase
4.40   Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle


DAY 3 – SATURDAY 8th APRIL

The Opening Show
PREVIEW  10.00am-11.30am
ITV Racing: Grand National Day
LIVE  2.00pm-6.15pm

2.25   Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle
3.00   Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase
3.40   Betway Handicap Chase
4.20   Ryanair Stayers Liverpool Hurdle
5.15   RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL


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