Grand National review to be published this week

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Racing’s governing body will publish its review of the 2012 Grand National – in which two horses died – later this week.

Daryl Jacob rode veteran chaser Neptune Collonges to a thrilling victory in a photo finish, but the race was marred for many by the deaths of the Gold Cup winner, Synchronised and According To Pete.

H&H understands that the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) review focuses on the start of the race and may recommend new procedures.

This year’s race was delayed when Synchronised jinked and unseated AP McCoy, before running loose for several minutes. Two false starts delayed the race further.

The BHA is not expected to recommend further changes to the course or fences.
After the race, H&H canvassed experts on whether changes were needed.

H&H racing columnist Brough Scott suggested the size of the field could be reduced.

“It’s much, much more important to cut the field size than the height of the fences,” he said.

“The challenge shouldn’t be neutered but if you had fewer runners of higher quality, you’d be more likely to have more finishers.”

Channel 4 racing presenter, Alice Plunkett agreed. “Very few races have so many horses and, for me, that’s something that could be looked at,” she told H&H.

According to Pete had to be euthanased after he was brought down by another horse. Synchronised was injured as he followed the race, having unseated his rider.

But jockey and H&H columnist Choc Thornton urged against tinkering with the race further, lest it be turned into a “bog-standard handicap chase”.

He said: “The fences don’t need changing, the number of runners doesn’t need reducing, the speed of the race doesn’t need controlling.”