Racing: Grand National: 'I would have been sick if I had won': National protagonists have their say on the false-start fiasco

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Jenny Pitman (trainer of the 'winner', Esha Ness): To think that my owner has always dreamt of having a runner in the race all his life. This is no Grand National.

Adrian Maguire (rider of Romany King): Going to the Chair, I wondered what the hell was going on because I saw a fellow wandering nonchalantly across the fence. There were two cones in front of it, but the horses still in the race all kept going.

Ben de Haan (Royal Athlete): On the first false start, there was no recall flag - but we knew what had happened, and pulled up for ourselves. Then the second time there was no man out on the course.

Neale Doughty (On The Other Hand): They called us back the first time, and everybody heard the starter. But the second time, he let us go. There was no man waving a flag at the first fence, and no call back from the starter.

John Bradburne (Interim Lib): I fell off at the Canal Turn second time round. I saw not one flag. There were a few people waving their arms. There were two cones at the Chair, and a man wandering around as if he was at a Sunday School picnic.

Andy Orkney (Howe Street): As far as I was concerned, everything was going happily until we got to the Chair. Somebody was waving, and I thought they were the animal libbers. I didn't see the tape tangling round anyone at the start, or a man with a flag.

Seamus O'Neill (Sure Metal): My horse is very free, and went straight into the lead. I never saw anybody with a red flag and we were soon making the running. I've always believed there is a man in the centre of the course waving a red flag in the event of a false start. I never saw one today. I would have been sick if I had won.

David Pipe (Jockey Club spokesman): An urgent inquiry will be held into the details surrounding this incident, and that might be on Monday. The decision on running the National later this year must be made by the racecourse. They would have to discuss it with the race-planning department, to avoid a clash with other races.

Rod Fabricius (acting clerk of the course): The recall flag was not shown the second time. It was an error. The flag man was in the correct position. The race has been declared void, in the most regrettable circumstances. At this point in time, there is no plan to run the 1993 Grand National.

Wally Pyrah (Coral): The Grand National is the biggest betting bonanza of the year. It will be catastrophic for betting shops in that it takes six seconds to take a bet and about a minute and a half to return stakes. It will be bedlam, with people queueing up to get their money back. Punters should claim their cash from the shops where they placed their bets.

Rob Harnett (Ladbrokes bookmakers): The damage done to the public image of racing is immeasurable, both in Britain and throughout the world. We cannot allow the public to be deprived of their annual flutter. The race should be reorganised and re-run this year.

Graham Sharpe (William Hill): This is the first Grand National where no-one lost any money. Everyone who laid a bet will get their money back. This is not a good advert for racing, but these things happen. There has been chaos in the betting shops, with people wanting their money back straightaway.

Mark Coton (National Association for the Protection of Punters): The failure to run the 1993 Grand National is a calamity not only for connections and punters but also for the image of racing throughout the world and for the Jockey Club, who have the responsibility for the efficient conduct of British racing.

In an industry which generates nearly pounds 7bn in betting turnover, it is quite appalling that such seemingly elementary errors as a white flag not being raised can be made, thus destroying the greatest race in the world. A full enquiry must take place and heads must roll. The time for efficient and professional officials in racing is long overdue.

John Buckingham (rider of 100-1 winner Foinavon in 1967): I'm disgusted with what's happened.

Richard Pitman (former jockey, now TV commentator): It's done our sport a lot of damage. It's the worst thing to happen in the sport since the suffragette Emily Davidson was killed throwing herself in front of the King's horse Aboyeur in the 1907 Derby.

(Photograph omitted)

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