Abbey Road Studios, located in London, was established in November 1931 and is synonymous with the Beatles, one of the most famous bands to ever come out of Liverpool which also happens to be the home of the Crabbies Grand National 2014.
With that in mind it has been announced that the venue will play host to the traditional yearly weights lunch for the Crabbies Grand National on February 11 2014.
In previous years the weights lunch has been held at central London hotels such as the Savoy, the Intercontinental Hotel and the Sheraton but after consultation with the team at Aintree as well as the new race sponsors it was felt Abbey Road would be the ideal venue to launch the countdown.
Aintree chief John Baker, North West regional director of Jockey Club Race courses, said: “We want to do it in London still but we want to bring a bit of Liverpool to the event and do something a little bit different.
“We came up with it in the team. We were just knocking about a few ideas and this one came up. I am a massive Beatles fan so it works for me.
“We thought it would be a little bit different and I think it will be an exciting venue to do it at.”
For the first time in the race’s history, the Grand National will now be worth £1,000,000 and the new sponsor partnership seems as ideal and perfectly matched as any that have gone before it with Crabbie’s parent company, Halewood International, owning the great Amberleigh House, trained by the legendary Ginger McCain.
As is the custom, the deadline for entries into the 2014 Grand National will be at the end of January 2014 with the weights announced approximately two weeks later on February 11th 2014. The Head of Handicapping at the British Horseracing Authority, Phil Smith, will determine the weights allocated to each horse that has been entered.
The Crabbies Grand National is open to seven-year-olds and upwards who have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and which are allotted a rating of 120 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping.
The highest weight that can be issued is 11st 10lb with the lowest weighted horse running off a minimum of 10st on the day.
In 2013 Tidal Bay, trained by Paul Nicholls, was the highest weighted horse when the figures were revealed but he was subsequently withdrawn and did not run in the Grand National. As a result of this, the weights for the remaining entrants were increased and on the day it was Imperial Commander, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, who ran off the highest weight of 11-10.