|Grade 1 race|
|Race type||Hurdle race|
|Distance||2m 4f (4,023 metres)|
|Qualification||Four-years-old and up|
|Weight||11 st 0 lb (4yo);
11 st 7 lb (5yo+)
7 lb for fillies and mares
The Aintree Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Aintree over a distance of about 2 miles and 4 furlongs (4,023 metres), and during its running there are eleven hurdles to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year in early April.
The event was established in 1976, and it was originally run over 2 miles and 5½ furlongs. It was shortened to its present length in 1988. The race is staged during the three-day Grand National meeting, and was traditionally contested on the final day, Saturday. In 2013 it was moved to the opening day of the meeting, Thursday.
The 2010 running was named in memory of Dick Francis (1920–2010), a former jockey who was closely associated with Aintree. He famously rode Devon Loch in the Grand National, and he was leading the race on the run-in when the horse jumped and was overtaken. The 2014 race was sponsored by Sharp's Brewery and named after their Doom Bar ale.
Most successful horse (4 wins):
- Morley Street – 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993
Leading jockey (4 wins):
- Charlie Swan – Danoli (1994, 1995), Urubande (1996), Istabraq (1999)
- Ruby Walsh - Ilnamar (2002), Sacundai (2003), Asian Maze (2006), Zarkandar (2013)
Leading trainer (5 wins):
- Toby Balding – Beech Road (1989), Morley Street (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993)
- Amateur jockeys indicated by "Mr".
- Walker, Tim (February 17, 2010). "Aintree finally gives Dick Francis his due". London: telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- Racing Post: