Grand National meeting 'sold out' for third successive year

Sunnyhillboy and Neptune Collonges compete in the 2012 Grand National
Image caption The race was won last year by Neptune Collonges in a close finish

Tickets for the Grand National have sold out for the third year running, organisers have said.

The sales mean about 70,000 people will be in attendance at the Aintree course on Saturday for the annual race.

A spokesman said advance bookings also meant that about 30,000 were expected at the meeting on Thursday, a new course record for the opening day.

He added that about 50,000 were expected to attend Ladies Day on Friday.

The advance bookings for the opening day were up by 10% on last year, he said.

The event sold out for the first time in almost three decades in 2011.

A maximum of 40 runners will contest the main race on Saturday, which was won last year by Neptune Collonges.

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