|BHA Cool Rumours Of Grand National Changes|
Monday, 16 April 2012 11:47
Paul Bittar, the chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, has announced that Horse racing will not be forced into ringing the changes to the Grand National structure following Saturday's race in which two horses suffered fatal injuries.
Synchronised - this year’s Gold Cup winner and one of the favourites for the weekend race – died following the Grand National, as did According To Pete - who suffered a fatal injury when brought down at Becher's Brook on the second circuit.
A number of amendments were made to the course following the 2011 National, in which two horses also died, including a two-inch reduction in the height of the fourth (and 20th) fence and a reduction in the drop on the landing side of Becher's Brook by between four and five inches.
In order to reach the startline, all runners were required to have finished at least fourth in a steeplechase.
Bittar told the Guardian that it would take time to assess the impact of the changes, and that it would be "premature to suggest that modifications to the course and other changes have not been effective or will not yet prove to be effective".
The race, the last to be shown on the BBC before it switches to Channel 4, was watched by a peak audience of 10.9 million.