Racing: Security cash for Aintree

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The Independent Online
FEAR that the Grand National could be lost for a second successive year has prompted the Levy Board to give a grant of pounds 100,000 towards additional security at Aintree. A demonstration by animal-rights activists contributed to last year's false starts that ended with the voiding of the race and an enormous drop in Levy Board revenue from deductions on bets.

The Board believes that 'the successful, unhindered running of this year's National has assumed an importance which reaches beyond the racecourse venue and has become a matter vital to the whole industry.'

The money will finance an increased police presence and the use of sophisticated security equipment. This is on top of a pounds 150,000 capital grant towards a new security fence around the racecourse and an interest-free loan of pounds 100,000 towards replacing the criticised stable-staff hostel.

Darren Biggs's decision to appeal to the Jockey Club against a ban imposed by the Southwell stewards last week for careless riding has backfired. His four-day suspension was increased to six days and he forfeited his deposit.

Lester Piggott will attempt to win his 25th Derby world- wide when he partners Sterling Town in the Hong Kong version at Sha Tin tomorrow. Piggott's Derby wins began with Never Say Die at Epsom in 1954, with Welnor, in the 1984 Derby Italiano, the latest.