Frankie named 41st Runner Grand National 2023
The 21-year partnership between Aintree Racecourse and Alder Hey Children’s Charity is further strengthened as it is announced that the Grade One chase staged over three miles and a furlong on Opening Day at the Randox Grand National Festival will be run as the Alder Hey Aintree Bowl in 2023.
One of four Grade One contests on Opening Day, the Alder Hey Aintree Bowl looks set to be an outstanding race this year with multiple Grade One winner Shishkin as well as well as several horses who competed last time out in the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup including Bravemansgame (second), Conflated (third) and Protektorat (fifth), as well as the 2021 Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard, set to line up.
The annual visit of jockeys to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital will again happen in 2023 on the morning of Ladies Day (Friday 14th April). Confirmed jockeys who will be part of the visit include Harry Skelton, Bridget Andrews, Henry Brooke, Nico de Boinville and ITV’s Mick Fitzgerald, who in his riding days rode the 1996 Grand National here Rough Quest. Also present will be the popular grey Neptune Collonges, winner of the 2012 Grand National.
Dickon White, Regional Director – North West, The Jockey Club, said:
“We are very pleased to be running the Grade One Aintree Bowl under the Alder Hey banner in 2023, when we celebrate the 21st anniversary of our partnership. It looks pretty much set to be the race of the season and as such should do a fantastic job in promoting the invaluable work of everyone at Alder Hey.”
Frankie, who is just over a year old, is the honorary 41st runner in the 2023 Randox Grand National at Aintree. Frankie was born in March 2022. Prior to his birth he had been diagnosed with gastroschisis which meant he would be born with his bowels on the outside of his stomach and surgery to fix this would be needed within hours of birth.
Gastroschisis is a rare condition which affects only 1 in 3,000 babies. These operations can only be done in a specialised children’s hospital with full paediatric surgery facilities such as Alder Hey in Liverpool, so Frankie and his family had to leave their local hospital and make the trip to an unfamiliar environment.
Frankie’s mum Jessica was also separated from Frankie during his first night at Alder Hey while she was waiting to be discharged from Arrowe Park Hospital. This meant that she was unable to see her newborn baby until the next day, apart from five minutes before the transport team had to move him to Alder Hey. At midnight that evening Jessica received the phone call to confirm that all had gone well with the one hour-long operation, and that Frankie was recovering in the Neonatal Unit on the cardiac ward at Alder Hey.
Rachael Blackmore said:
Jennifer Graham from Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: