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Published: 14:35 | 14/12/15

Later start for Grand National


The 2016 Crabbie's Grand National will be run at the later time of 5.15pm in a bid to boost viewing figures.

The Aintree spectacular got underway at 4.15pm in April but Jockey Club Racecourses has confirmed that the start time will be moved by an hour to draw a higher television audience.

Leighton Aspell's victory aboard the Oliver Sherwood-trained Many Clouds drew a peak audience of 8.9million viewers but it is believed the later start time will result in an increase domestically and globally.

"This is a very positive move for the Crabbie's Grand National and we're excited about the possibility of showcasing the greatest chase in the world to a wider national and global audience," said John Baker, Regional Director of the Jockey Club North West.

"The Crabbie's Grand National is in a great place and we're already delighted to be Channel 4's biggest audience of the year at 8.9 million viewers, which is a fantastic figure, but any increase is also good for the sport.

"We're always keen to explore ways to grow and enhance this superb three-day Festival and we believe that in collaboration with our broadcast partner, Channel 4, and with the backing of the BHA, this is another extremely positive step forward for the 'People's Race'."

The Crabbie's Grand National will be the penultimate race on the card with a handicap hurdle for conditional and amateur jockeys scheduled for 6.10pm.

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