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Curtain comes down on Aintree winner's enclosure.

IT'S the end of an era at Aintree this weekend as the racecourse's historic weighing room and winner's enclosure are used for the last time.

Aintree is undergoing a pounds 30m redevelopment with a brand new jockeys' room, paddock and pavilion to be built before next year's Grand National and two new stands constructed for 2007.

The winner's enclosure, used since 1858, is a Listed building and will be used for the last time on Sunday, before becoming a themed "style bar".

The weighing room itself is thought to have been in place even before the first Grand Liverpool Steeplechase in 1839.

And the winner's berth has housed celebrities such as Red Rum, the Beatles and Royalty.

The Beatles were in the winners enclosure to cheer on Wirral-trained Drake's Drum after the colt Paul Mc Cartney bought for his father won the six-furlong Hylton Plate, while in 1900 the

Prince of Wales's Ambush II had become the only royal National winner.

Sunday will feature two races over the National fences, the Totesport Becher Chase and the Totepool Grand Sefton Steeplechase.

The last winner to use the famous berth will be for the two-and-a-half mile Ennis Construction Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

The Aintree meeting marks the second day of the North West Master's event which gets under way at Haydock today.

Charles Barnett, managing director at Aintree, said of the closure: "We will ensure that this building retains its character and charm for visitors to enjoy infuture years. The new facilities will ensure that so many more racegoers, will be able to sample the atmosphere of winners, returning back to the Winner's Enclosure for a hero's welcome.

" The facilities will also provide modern and much needed improved facilities for racing's professionals
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2005
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