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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Thursday switch for Aintree HurdleHeadlines
Oscar Whisky winning last year's Aintree Hurdle

The John Smith's Aintree Hurdle has been moved to Thursday from its traditional Saturday slot to become the highlight on the first day of the Grand National meeting.

Prize-money has also been increased by £40,000 to £200,000 for the race which has been won by Oscar Whisky for the last two years.

"We are confident that this switch will greatly strengthen Thursday's card and thereby provide a big additional star attraction on the opening day," said Aintree clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch.

Moving in the opposite direction is the three-mile Grade One John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle, which will now be the third race on Grand National day, with prize-money increased by £20,000 to £120,000.

The John Smith's Melling Chase has been boosted to the tune of £25,000 and now stands at £200,000, while the Topham Chase over the National fences has gone up £20,000 to £120,000.

The closing date for entries for the 2013 John Smith's Grand National is noon on January 29, with the weights due to be unveiled on February 12.

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