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06 April 2023

Randox Health Grand National 41st Runner Announced

The annual honorary 41st runner in the Randox Health Grand National in conjunction with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has been announced for 2023 as Frankie, who is just over a year old.
Frankie was diagnosed before birth with gastroschisis, a rare condition that affects one in 3,000 children. Children born with gastroschisis are born with their bowels on the outside of their body and require immediate surgery within hours of their birth.

Only a certain number of hospitals are equipped for such high stakes procedures, Alder Hey being one of them, therefore Frankie and his family had to relocate to a strange location during such a stressful period. Frankie’s mum Jessica was also separated from him while she waited to be discharged from Arrowe Park Hospital following his birth. This meant the only time she spent with her new-born baby was the five minutes before his hospital transfer.

Jockey Rachael Blackmore, who won the National on Minella Times in 2021, presented Frankie and his family with the tickets to Aintree, alongside Jennifer from Alder Hey.

Rachael Blackmore presenting Frankie and his mum Jessica with their tickets alongside Jennifer from Alder Hey

Rachael Blackmore said: “Frankie and his mum Jessica are truly inspirational in the way they have faced up to the challenges life has presented them with. It was a privilege to meet them both and witness the unwavering support they have received from all the team at Alder Hey.

“It’s fantastic to have Frankie as the 41st runner this year and I look forward to catching up with them both again on Randox Grand National Day.”

Jennifer Graham, Relationships Fundraiser at Alder Hey, added: “We are delighted every year to join with The Jockey Club for a programme of celebrations for the Grand National here at Alder Hey and at Aintree.

“The children just love it, almost as much as the parents and the staff! To have the Alder Hey Aintree Bowl on Thursday is an additional honour for us too and what a line-up that race will be! Good luck to all the horses and jockeys, it’s set to be an amazing race!”

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