It's the highlight of the racing calendar and one of the most famous sporting events in the world.

Millions of people will be tuning in to watch the 2024 Grand National on Saturday as the iconic steeplechase gets underway at Aintree. Tens of thousands of fans will descend on the racecourse for the main event of the three-day festival, with Corach Rambler looking to defend his title.

Last year's race attracted 7.5 million viewers in the UK, but the global audience is estimated to be around 500 million.

There have been some significant changes made to this year's race, including the start time. So to make sure you don't miss a moment of the action, here's everything you need to know about how to watch this year's Grand National.

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What time does the Grand National start?

The Grand National starts at 4pm on Saturday, April 13 at Aintree Racecourse.

What TV channel is the Grand National on?

The Grand National will be shown live on ITV1.

Coverage starts on Thurday, April 11 for the first day of the action. It runs from 2pm to 5pm on Thursday and Friday, with coverage starting slightly earlier at 12.55pm on Saturday.

You can therefore live stream the Grand National on ITV X. You will need a TV licence and ITV account for this option.

Many people associate the race with the BBC, with the broadcaster showing the race for over 50 years, with its first broadcast coming in 1960. However, from 2013 to 2016 it was shown on Channel 4, with ITV broadcasting the race ever since 2017 when it won the rights to the iconic steeplechase.

Last year, ITV agreed a three year deal to show exclusive, free-to air coverage of UK horse racing, including the Grand National, until the end of 2026.

Why is the Grand National starting early?

The Grand National is starting at 4pm instead of 5.15pm because ground conditions are more optimal at this time and it improves safety.

Sulekha Varma, the Jockey Club’s north west head of racing , said: “We leave no stone unturned in providing world-class standards of welfare for our participants and undertake a review after every Grand National.

“These reviews look at a wide range of factors and the learnings from the process drives a number of changes, large and small, annually. In October we announced that one of the changes being made from 2024 would involve bringing forward the start time of the race, which has been 5.15pm since 2016.

“This was a decision we took after a number of participants and other racing stakeholders raised concerns about the long build-up to the race throughout the day and heightened tension as a result. These were not issues which had been identified as a problem when the race was previously staged at 3.45pm and 4.15pm.

“Bringing forward the start time of the Grand National by 75 minutes to 4pm will also help us to maintain optimal jumping ground, as warm or breezy conditions can dry out the racing surface.”

Further safety measures include cutting the number of runners from 40 to a maximum of 34, while the first fence has been brought forward, towards the start line, by 60 yards in order to reduce the speed at which the horses reach it. For the same reason, the start itself will now be a standing start at the tape, rather than the traditional rolling start. You can read more about those changes here.

Grand National runners and riders for 2024

Final field of 32 runners and riders for the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase (Class 1), (4m2f74y) at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 13 2024 (4pm):

  1. Noble Yeats (J: Harry Cobden; T: Emmet Mullins)
  2. Nassalam (J: Caoilin Quinn; T: Gary Moore)
  3. Coko Beach (J: Jordan Gainford; T: Gordon Elliott)
  4. Capodanno (J Keith Donoghue; T: Willie Mullins)
  5. I Am Maximus (J: Paul Townend; T: Willie Mullins)
  6. Minella Indo (J: Rachael Blackmore; T: Henry De Bromhead)
  7. Corach Rambler (J: Derek Fox; T: Lucinda Russell)
  8. Janidil (J: Jody McGarvey; T: Willie Mullins)
  9. Stattler (J: Patrick Mullins; T: Willie Mullins)
  10. Mahler Mission (J: Ben Harvey; T: John McConnell)
  11. Delta Work (J: Jack Kennedy; T: Gordon Elliott)
  12. Foxy Jacks (J: Gavin Brouder; T: Mouse Morris)
  13. Galvin (J: Sam Ewing; T: Gordon Elliott)
  14. Farouk D’Alene (J: Donagh Meyler; T: Gordon Elliott)
  15. Eldorado Allen (J: Brendan Powell; T: Joe Tizzard)
  16. Ain’t That A Shame (J: David Maxwell; T: Henry De Bromhead)
  17. Vanillier (J: Sean Flanagan; T: Gavin Cromwell)
  18. Mr Incredible (J: Brian Hayes; T: Willie Mullins)
  19. Latenightpass (J: Gina Andrews; T: Tom Ellis)
  20. Minella Crooner (J: Kevin Sexton; T: Gordon Elliott)
  21. Adamantly Chosen (J: Sean O’Keeffe; T: Willie Mullins)
  22. Mac Tottie (J: James Bowen; T: Peter Bowen)
  23. Chemical Energy (J: Danny Gilligan; T: Gordon Elliott)
  24. Limerick Lace (J: Mark Walsh; T: Gavin Cromwell)
  25. Meetingofthewaters (J: Danny Mullins; T: Willie Mullins)
  26. The Goffer (J: Sean Bowen; T: Gordon Elliott)
  27. Roi Mage (J: James Reveley; T: Patrick Griffin)
  28. Glengouly (J: Michael O’Sullivan; T: Willie Mullins)
  29. Galia Des Liteaux (J: Harry Skelton; T: Dan Skelton)
  30. Panda Boy (J: JJ Slevin; T: Martin Brassil)
  31. Eklat De Dire (J: Darragh O’Keeffe; T: Henry De Bromhead)
  32. Kitty’s Light (J: Jack Tudor; T: Christian Williams)