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    "The National precisely as we expect" - Jockey Club Chief praises Aintree modifications
"The National precisely as we expect" - Jockey Club Chief praises Aintree modifications
"The National precisely as we expect" - Jockey Club Chief praises Aintree modifications. Source: sportinglife.com

"The National precisely as we expect" - Jockey Club Chief praises Aintree modifications

Following the inaugural running of the Randox Grand National under the new rules, Jockey Club Chief Nevin Truesdale declared, "The National exactly as we want it."

This year, several changes were made to the well-known four-and-a-quarter-mile chase, including a reduction in the maximum field size from 40 to 34 runners. However, due to two last-minute withdrawals, 32 horses were registered for the earlier 4 pm start.

The first fence was moved closer to the off, the pre-race parade was changed to a canter in front of the grandstand, and a standing start was used. In order to lower the height of the drop, the eleventh fence's take-off side was likewise given a two-inch height reduction, and the landing side underwent some "levelling off."

Although last year's winner Corach Rambler did fall at the second fence after going free after unshipping his rider at the first obstacle, the adjustments produced 21 finishers and no official fallers in the Aintree showpiece.

"We're absolutely delighted, the changes have clearly had a very positive impact," stated Truesdale. It was, I believe, the cleanest National I have ever seen.

"We're pretty happy with this; you have to go back to 1992 to find more finishers. The standing start looked to be effective, and the jockeys, in my opinion, rode the race quite well; well done to all those involved. “It was a really exciting finish, the National exactly as we want it.”

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