Lonesome Pundit

Bettting, DFS, Football, NFL – bit of randomness

Grand National: Time for a change?

1 Comment

“Neptune rises from a sea of carnage”

“Triumph over tragedy”

“National woe over death of Synchronised”

“Death and glory”

“Will this kill the National?”

“Neptune soars but National sinks”

“Another National tragedy”

I could go on unfortunately ….. most of the above will appear on the front pages of this morning’s papers. I’ve not divulged any of the words (it’s probably not a good idea to read the Mail/Express) but it’s blatantly obvious yet again yesterday was a bad day for the sport we all love – or most of you that read the blog do. Having missed the actual race, I watched in on replay last night and sitting there I watched the first 6-8 or fences till they got to the Canal Turn and I was amazed at the number of horses that had fallen. 15 had perished by the time they’d reached the 11th fence. A quick check of those that had fallen is truly eye-opening.


Viking Blond – 5 previous chases, never fallen

Junior – 8 previous chases, never fallen

Killyglen – 14 previous chases, fallen once, in the 2011 race

Synchronised – 9 previous chases, never fallen

Becauseicouldntsee – 11 previous races, fell 3 times, once in 2011 race

West End Rocker – 14 previous chases, fell 1 once, brought down in 2011 race

State of Play – 17 previous chases, never fallen

Alfa Beat – 15 previous chases, fallen once, in the 2011 Topham over same fences

Tatenen – 20 previous chases, fell three times

Black Apalachi – 26 previous chases, fell twice – 08 National and 09 National

Chicago Grey – 15 previous chases, fell twice

Arbor Supreme – 21 previous chases, fell four times – including 10 and 11 National

Organisedconfusion – 12 previous chases, fell twice

Treacle – 15 previous chases, fell once

Rare Bob – 24 previous chases, fell once


So in total 216 chase runs with 21 falls prior to yesterday’s race. Of those falls 8 were over the National fences. Staggering really therefore that so many horses do fall at Aintree. Remember these are not incapable horses, they are some of the best horses in the UK and Ireland, they can jump a fence. What should be done about it? My initial thought would be to limit the runners to 30 maximum, there just doesn’t look enough room for everyone, you jump the fence perfectly well and get brought down because the horse in front falls. I’d probably even go less and say down to 25. Would it be less of a spectacle? No. Because 15 have usually fallen by the Chair at any rate. The fences themselves may also need looking at, but the numbers need shortening in my opinion. Big time.


On a more positive note.


40/1 on Neptune Collonges thank you very much!  A very well deserved retirement to a true equine superstar!

RIP Synchronised and According to Pete


Will post up some ratings for Leopardstown if I get a chance later.


One thought on “Grand National: Time for a change?

  1. The problem with the National is not the fences, but the jockeys – they ride the first mile far too fast and that causes the horses to fall. Take the 1st fence of the race; it actually has the highest number of fallers of any fence in the race – when it’s the 1st fence in the National. When it’s NOT the 1st fence (ie when it’s the 5th fence in the Topham, Becher or Foxhunter chase races) it is the safest fence on the course. What does that tell you? The jockeys ride their horses too fast in the first mile of the National.
    I have campaigned to have the start moved to the back-straight of the Mildmay course so that the runners have to make a sharp-left turn before approaching the 1st fence. There would be no “cavalry charge” start and horses would approach the fence in a more sedate manner.
    Syncronised actually ran for at least another mile after falling at Bechers, jumping fences for fun. How he suffered his fatal injury, I don’t know – but his death was not due to falling at Bechers Brook.
    According To Pete landed on top of the faller On His Own – he had no chance of evading the stricken horse and it was something that could have happened at any track and does on a regular basis.

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