Firm Ground Banned For Grand National
Aintree has banned fast ground for the Grand National with all future runnings of the race, starting this year, to be run on a track that is no quicker than ‘good to soft’.
The move is the latest made by Aintree officials to minimize the risk to horses and riders after the 2012 Grand National was marred by the deaths of two horses including 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised.
Aintree Chairman Lord Daresbury said that a report commissioned by the racecourse found that there was a direct link between fast tracks and injuries to horses as the faster the pace of the race the more likely that falls and injuries would occur.
“We looked closely at all the statistics, and in discussion with trainers, we came more and more to the conclusion that ensuring ground that was always on the soft side of ‘good’ was the right thing to do,” Daresbury told The Telegraph.
Lord Daresbury admitted that the ruling would be criticised by connections whose horses preferred a faster surface but he said it was in the best interests for the future of the Grand National and Jumps Racing as a whole.
“Everybody is doing everything possible for the success of the Grand National, and I think most involved are taking more responsibility themselves for the race,” Daresbury said.
Daresbury added that rumors Aintree officials were considering lowering the height of jumps was untrue.
“There have been some critics who have said we are lowering the fences, but that is not the case,” he said.
This measure is the latest rule change that aims to make the Grand National safer for horses and riders.
In 2013, the landing zone of the famous Becher’s Brook has been leveled to make it less steep and the start of the race has been moved ninety yards closer to the first fence while a softer core has been added to fences.
The 2013 Grand National will be held on April 6th with On His Own the current favourite in the Grand National betting market at Bet365.
You can find the best odds for the 2013 Grand National at Bet365.