2012 Grand National

The rabbit
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Postby The rabbit » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:04 pm

We do not need the National which is an over hyped handicap really. It gives lots of bad publicity but not a lot of good. The general public wants to see an enjoyable horse race and do not care if there are 25 or 40 runners or how challenging the fences are or whether it is over 3 miles or 4 1/2. The less fallers then the better it is.

I do not think National hunt horse racing is cruel because I strongly believe that horses enjoy running and jumping and get well looked after in this country. Most racehorses have more enjoyable lives than wild horses do but there is a limit regarding what they can be asked to do and The National is too difficult and should be finished or altered to a much shorter distance with fairer fences and have a lot less runners in my opinion.

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Postby budgie27 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:36 pm

That Animal Aid bloke makes my blood boil - racehorses are treated like cattle well at the end of the day horses are cattle but with a massive difference that they are so well looked after even after they stop racing. PNs remarks are hardly helpful but to some extent you understand what he was trying to say

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grand national

Postby bridbaldy » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:40 pm

I didnt back the winner, in fact one of my selections was beaten by a nose, buts lets just celebrate the pure effort put in by both, neptune collonges and sunnyhill boy. Apart from the loss of two good horses, what a gud race and FANTASTIC finish!!!!!!

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Postby budgie27 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:57 pm

As I said to my wife wow what brave horses your heart goes out to all of them win or lose.

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Postby mountie » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:10 pm

Truly awful about the two horses dying.

Agree that it seemed wrong to race him after the goings on at the start. He was surely never going to win after that so maybe they should have pulled him. Do people think that it was only because it was McCoy and the favourite that they waited so long? Would a 33/1 shot without so much of the public's money on it still have raced? I'm not so sure, would be interested to know what people think?

Casualties aside. I thought the race was absolutely brilliant this year. So much so that I actually took Sunnyhill Boy being beaten in a photo finihs reasonably well. Was it just me or did the BBC camera work seem better this year? Like they were going out on a high and throwing more money than usual at it. Some of the shots beside the fences were incredible. I had to try and breathe deeply at one point as I could feel my heart poundin far too quickly!

I follow Horse Racing year round (jumps only really) but I must admit with the exception of Cheltenham I think the Grand National is the best. I dont get the same excitement trawling through form etc for small weekday races at minor racecourses. I also don't see it as the lottery that some suggest as I have been heavily in profit every year since 2005.

It obviously needs even more safety precautions and this will inevitably happen before 2013 but I for one would be very sad to see the great race disappear.

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Postby welshpip » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:21 pm

coxy123 the two horses that are entered in scots national that have links with old vic are
BELLFLOWER BOY
RED HARBOUR
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Postby horsetaylor » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:47 pm

I find this an extremely interesting debate that once again has arisen. Whenever there is a dangerous sport there are always going to be their controversies and there is no doubt that i will say this is probably the best National i have ever seen. The race was completely pulsing from start to finish and my pick was gone at the second last. I was hoping Richie Mclernon would get the win as i think he is an extremely underrated jockey and no doubt he deserves all the mounts he can. But it was a brilliant race.

The difference this year however is the fact that we have lost horses like Synchronised (a classy gold cup winner), however we must take into consideration the fact that when the horses are entered, the connections know the amount of risk that they are undertaking in participating in the race and allowing their horse to run in it. That is a part of the race. Look at Rewilding in the King George last season on the flat, there was no calls to end that race because Rewilding had broken down, yet that was a classier animal in a race where risk wouldn't have been considered as much as the risk considered by connections for the Grand National.

The Grand National is purely a spectacle to watch and i am afraid if one of the biggest profile races that brings more people into the sport annually. I must say this will not calm down and will no doubt be mentioned on the attheraces sunday forum program. The ultimate question is whether or not the race would be as high profile over normal fences over the distance at Aintree rather than the Grand National Fences.

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Postby bobhorse » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:36 pm

look horses die in our sport jockeys also may i add its a sad fact but never the less a fact i wont panda to those who want the race banned if you dont like it take no part in it and let others enjoy there racing these animals are bred for the job love what they do and are pampered to the end and much loved by those involved with them
Dogs bite people do we say destroy all dogs or do we accept it as part of the risk of mans best friend of course we do
people will be at A&E's up and down the country tomorrow with dog bites and so it is with our sport everything is done to make it as safe as possible but accidents will happen but its nothing compared to the excitement and enjoyment given to 600million people who watch the race worldwide we love are horses and will miss them greatly but NHR is a brilliant sport and test of horse and rider and i wont appologise to anyone for loving it as i say if you dont like it Jog on

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Postby Liverpool1985 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:04 am

Not really an avid Horse Racing follower but I see both sides of this.

The simple thing to do would be to bring in some level of precaution to the Grand National as this is happening year after year. If you ask me the bad press is inevitable and always going to happen, especially when nothing is being done.

Stop the National? Hell no. Only time I ever get involved in Horse Racing. Make some sort of safety precaution? Makes sense but won't be done. Its all very well everyone getting their backsides up about people mentioning the tradegy of horses dieing but as previously said its INEVITABLE. A guarantee. Smart thing to do would be a make a minor change that makes the race that little bit safer for the horses taking part. Isn't that what usually happens in sports when tradegy strikes.

While this sport is not concerning the deaths of humans, its HORSE racing so steps should still be taken as Horses are the sport. Without them you gonna pay to watch 40 jockeys run the Grand National.

But they won't take any steps and the same debate will be going on next year.

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Postby deswalker » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:47 am

Every time there are fatalities in racing it always makes me question my involvement. I wouldn't be human if I didn't. But these horses are bred for racing and they are doing what they are bred for. The people involved in racing are all horse lovers and I firmly believe that the majority of punters would give back any winnings to ensure that all horses came back safe and sound.

I definitely think that this years race has been a very unlucky one from the point of view of the animal welfare debate. The two injuries were not obviously related to the difficulty of the course, yet because they occured on the biggest of public stages the headlines have written themselves. There is also no way that Synchronised running loose beforehand had anything to do with his tragic injury. He slipped on landing in the relatively early stages.

It would be a disaster I think if the spirit of The National were lost due to incidents that couldn't have been helped. Having said this, maybe the risk attached to drop fences should be looked at carefully and if these are related to the fatalities (in the long term statistics, not in a knee jerk reaction) then maybe something should be done to address this risk.

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Postby gentmartin » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:48 am

@Budgie, they are not treated well after retirement, most are slaughtered and sent to france for human and animal consumption !!
Not weighing into this discussion ! my points are in the discussion thread ! but just wanted to point out a non opinionated fact !!
Still cant get over poor old Synchronised, particulary, i cant even remember the NAsh, just keep seeing him romping home at Chelts, a real shame :-(

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Postby Shrews » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:35 am

As much as I love racing and especially the jumps, I do think major changes are needed to help prevent the number of fatalities (twice as many as the NH average) The powers of be just don't do enough IMO.

I don't buy into the whole argument of 'making it easier will ruin the race'. It won't, this is the publics race, the race for a once in a year bet, the public will bet on it no matter how easy it is.

I have never heard anyone say 'i'm not betting on the National because they've made it easier' Personally, i'd like a few changes to see if they do the trick.

- Increased watering to try and ensure softer ground
- 4m maximum distance (and not just The National)
- 30 runners, not 40
- Bechers should only be jumped once
- All fences lowered by 6 inches

With National Hunt racing in general, I believe no horse should ever be expected to jump on Firm ground EVER. With that in mind there should never be any Summer jumps meetings. The Flat is for the Summer, the jumps are for the Winter.

I love racing, but I do want to see changes in The National. I will still love it and bet on it anyway and I reckon the public would too.

The National is the greatest horse race on Earth because the public get so involved. It will remain a great horse race even with the changes above because the public will still get involved.

If it doesn't change and more die again next year then the public will turn away from the race in their droves and that's when it will start to become 'just another horse race'

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