Sunday, April 15, 2012
How to save the Grand National after the tragic deaths of Synchronised and According to Pete
This piece of mine appears over at The Week/The First Post.
Neil Clark: The closest ever finish is overshadowed by deaths of two horses: now it's time to reduce the field
IT WAS the best of Nationals. It was the worst of Nationals. It was also the end of an era. BBC television, covering the historic steeplechase for the last time after a 52-year association before it moves to Channel 4, could not have gone out with a more dramatic, incident-packed broadcast.
On the positive side, we saw the closest finish in the race's history, as 33-1 outsider Neptune Collonges pipped Sunnyhill Boy by a nostril in a photo-finish. Third was Seabass, ridden by Katie Walsh, who, came close to becoming the first woman rider ever to win the race.
But elsewhere on the Aintree track a very different story was being played out, as two fine horses, the Gold Cup winner Synchronised, and the gallant Northern handicapper According to Pete, were destroyed after injuries sustained following falls at Becher's Brook, the National's most dangerous fence.
You can read the whole of the article here.
UPDATE: You can hear me discussing Saturday’s Grand National and possible changes that could be made to make the race safer, on BBC Radio Wales, here.
The item starts at around 55 minutes and 40 seconds into the programme