17 Nov 1998 Pre-2014 Releases

The Grand National Report 1998

Published: 17 November 1998

Progress update on the implementation of the recommendations from the Grand National Report 1998:

  • Work on the National course should be completed in time to allow the course to be walked in race condition from first light on the day of the Grand National.

  • The Aintree Executive should, with the advice of their agronomist, consider alternative procedures to ensure that the most effective way of repairing the ground is implemented, especially in wet conditions.

    Update – Aintree have taken action to address both these issues.

  • Consideration should be given to providing two schooling fences built to the design of a National fence of reduced dimensions at each of the three main training grounds at Middleham, Lambourn and Newmarket for the use of any trainer who might wish to use them.

    Update – The Jockey Club has agreed with the training centres that schooling fences will be available at Middleham, Lambourn and Newmarket.

    RACE CONDITIONS (Qualifications of horse and jockey)

  • Because of the testing nature of the Grand National, consideration should be given to setting up a Jockey Club panel with the power to review, and if necessary, refuse entries on the basis of previous form. The panel is intended to provide a further check on the suitability of horses for the race, even though they qualify under existing criteria.

    Update – A panel of experts will be appointed by the Jockey Club to advise the Stewards of the Jockey Club whether any horse entered should not be allowed to run.
    RACE CONDITIONS (continued)

  • Any horse declared at the five day stage for the Grand National should automatically be withdrawn from the Grand National if it runs in any race after the five day declaration stage.

    Update – To be included in the conditions of the race.

  • The British Horseracing Board’s Race Planning Department will be asked to review the handicapping of the race with a view to encouraging more horses with higher ratings to run in the race.

    Update – The Race Planning Committee are considering options. The final conditions are due to be published on 7th January 1999.

  • The Qualifications of professionals, amateurs and overseas jockeys are seen to be working and there should be no relaxation in maintaining the improvements that have been achieved.

    Update – To be included in the conditions of the race.

  • All horses declared to run in the Grand National should undergo a pre-race veterinary inspection because of the unique demands of the race.

    Update – All runners for the Grand National will be subject to a pre-race veterinary inspection by the Jockey Club.