Friday, April 05, 2013
The 2013 Grand National: The Intelligent Punter's Guide
This piece of mine appears over at The Week.
THE TIMES they are-a-changin. After two horses died at last year's Grand National, the Aintree authorities have made further changes to the world's most famous steeplechase in an attempt to make it safer. They include levelling the landing zones at some fences, including Becher's Brook, where the ill-fated Synchronised and According to Pete both came down 12 months ago, changing the make-up of the fences, and moving the start of the race forwards by 90 yards.
These changes are not the only things that will be different about this year's race, due off at 4.15pm on Saturday. For the first time live television coverage will be provided by Channel 4, and not the BBC, which has shown the last 52 Grand Nationals.
You can read the rest of the piece and my profiles of the 40 runners in tomorrow's race here.
UPDATE: What a race- and great that all the horses and jockeys came back safely. I hope that the Guide to the runners proved helpful to those having a bet. Just one day later, winning jockey Ryan Mania had a crashing fall at Hexham and had to be airlifted to hospital. Here's my piece from today's The Week on why, compared to other sports professionals, jump jockeys really are a race apart.