Safety change at Aintree

A “minor” change at Aintree is made after the Jockey Club’s report on the Grand National

The run-up to the Canal Turn fence at Aintree has been modified with a realignment of the rail to reduce the risk of horses bunching up and falling.

The change, which was recommended in a report by the Jockey Club, comes in the wake of the pile-up at the fence at this year’s Grand National.

Spokesman for the Jockey Club, John Maxse, said: “We do a safety and welfare report on the Grand National every year after feedback from officials, jockeys, trainers and some welfare organisations.

“We came up with a couple of recommendations – one of which was the “minor” modification at the Canal fence. But initial feedback from another suggestion – to provide more run-out gaps – is that they could make matters worse.”

The report also says there is concern about interference caused by loose horses wearing blinkers and says the practice will be “kept under review”. A study of previous Grand Nationals showed that horses wearing headgear have a worse completion record than those without.

Only four of the 40 starters at this year’sGrand National finished the course which was run on very heavy going.

A loose horse veered across the field and put 10 horses out of the race, which was eventually won by Red Marauder.

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