Racegoers have been snapped queuing up with umbrellas as they enter the Grand National, which returned to Aintree racecourse today, after taking a two-year hiatus due to Covid.
This year’s event marks a return to pre-pandemic years, with revellers due to arrive at the course in their droves to have a flutter on the horses.
And images certainly show people making the most of being able to attend in person today, after having to watch the action on the small screen last year.
Despite less than perfect weather conditions, including blustery winds, drizzle, and maximum temperatures of 10C, many attendees have been pictured donning Spring outfits, including open-toed heels, lace jumpsuits, and dresses without jackets to show off their style.
Many ladies opted to wear hats and fascinators, which they were forced to hold onto their heads, as strong breezes threatened to blow them away. Meanwhile, others were spotted optimistically sporting sunglasses, despite the grey skies.
Feeling floral: light frocks in Spring colours, featuring botanical prints, were the choice of this coordinating pair
One man had to lend this woman a hand with her shoes, bending down to help her do up the straps on her platform sandals
The first day at Aintree offered racegoers the opportunity to show off their style, with attendees opting for a whole range of different looks
Glamorous racing commentator Francesca Cumani wore a blue checked mac with a stunning hairband for the occasion (pictured)
Hat-astic! Many of the glamorous racegoers opted for vibrant and colourful ensembles as they arrived at the racecourse earlier today
It’s raining cats and dogs! Racegoers were desperate to find shelter from the downpour, cowering beneath jackets and even their clutch bags
Around 150,000 people are expected to attend the three-day festival, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world, with more than £25 million expected to be spent on bets.
And the revelry doesn’t stop there: previously the event, which is now in its 183rd year, has seen attendees down a staggering 20,000 bubbly to get into the party spirit.
Away from the track, a further 500 million people in more than 140 countries are expected to tune in to watch the action.
While the biggest competition, the 30-jump handicap steeplechase, takes place on Saturday, there are plenty of elite races across the three-days for equestrian enthusiasts to get excited about.
Others appeared to be running through the drizzle, perhaps in an attempt to find a drier, and warmer spot inside somewhere
Less than perfect weather isn’t enough to put off these racing enthusiasts, who donned a range of Summery outfits matched with open-toed shoes to brave the chilly temperatures
Bright shades as well as more muted pastel options were the order of the day, with this group showing off their outfits which came in a host of rainbow colours
Among the top attractions on today’s schedule is the Betway Bowl Steeple Chase at 2:55pm, which considered the centrepiece of Aintree’s opening-day.
However, many eyes will be on the The Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open – aka the mares’ bumper – specifically, on rider Rachel Blackmore.
The high profile jockey, who recently became the first female to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, will be riding Lady Excalibur in the 5.15pm race.
The Betway Aintree Hurdle, at 3:30pm, should also provide punters with some excitement, with trainer Willie Mullins seeming intent on asserting his dominance with Kemboy, after saddling a staggering 10 winners at Cheltenham.
The wind seemed to be getting the best of some racegoers, who were snapped battling with their umbrellas
However, the less than optimum conditions did not dampen everyone’s spirits, with attendees pictured cheering as they waited to get into the racecourse
Around 150,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Grand National (pictured), despite Met Office predictions of blustery winds and drizzle
Anticipation: after the festival was held behind closed doors for the last two years, punters were pictured queuing at the entry
Queues started to build ahead of the event’s opening time, with racegoers keen to get through Aintree’s gates
Fans pour into the grounds at the beginning of day 1 of the Grand National. Around 150,000 people are expected to attend over the next three days
Although temperatures are not expected to exceed a maximum of 10C, some brave attendees were spotted in Spring dresses and light jackets
Another attendee showed off coordinating style, matching a blazer with pearl details with her pearl-encrusted headband and white dress
Despite wrapping up against the temperatures in sensible tweed and knits, even this couple looked dazed by the powerful winds at the race ground
Less promising for attendees could be the weather, after the Met office warned that today’s weather won’t be optimum for outdoor events, with top temperatures not expected to exceed 10C.
While showers are expected during the morning, the afternoon should be drier – although rainfall on previous days could have affected the ground, making it soggy.
The Randox Grand National 2022, which is held at Aintree racecourse, runs from April 7 to April 9.
All smiles: these women were photographed wearing extravagant fascinators, which they coordinated to their dresses, for the opening day at Aintree
Hold onto your hats! One racegoer was pictured clutching her fascinator to make sure it wasn’t blown off her head while she waited in the queue
While some battled with umbrellas and hats, others looked delighted to be at the raceground, and seemed to be looking forward to the day’s schedule
Cheers! Racegoers enjoy the atmosphere ahead of the races at Aintree Racecourse – despite the less than optimum weather conditions