Aintree racecourse looks set to roll out newly designed Grand National fences in order to improve safety in the iconic race.

The plan is in early stages, but following a successful trial on Becher Chase day at the end of 2012, the fences will be formed around birch and plastic cores — rather than the traditional wooden stakes — to make a “kinder” fence in this year’s race (6 April).

The fences outwardly will remain the same, but will have with a softer core to be “more forgiving”, following the deaths of two horses, including Gold Cup winner Synchronised, in last year’s Grand National.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (17 January 2013)