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Grand National Horse Race at Aintree, 1985

BRIAN HARRIS / Alamy

Date: Saturday, 9 April at 5.15pm 

Location: Aintree Racecourse, Merseyside

In a nutshell: The most important National Hunt race of the year, with horses leaping over 30 fences for a total prize of £1m, and the top-10 finishers receiving a cheque.

Best vantage point: In a box at the racecourse, where you can watch close up on a TV screen, then swivel in your seat to watch the finish live.

What to wear: It’s only April, so don’t go the full Royal Ascot yet. Think a cross between Cheltenham (warmth and country colours) and Glorious Goodwood (low-key elegance).

Who you might see: The Princess Royal, Simon Bazalgette, Jilly Cooper.

Concentration required: It’s 70 per cent unrestricted viewing, 30 per cent through the gaps in your fingers (those terrifying obstacles make for tough viewing).

Where to stay: Bag an invitation to stay with the Earl and Countess of Derby at Knowsley Hall.