Aintree 'not at fault' for two National fatalities

 

The first Classics of the Flat season are imminent, but it is not just the jump racing weather that is proving hard to shake off. A sport still smarting from its ghastly experience at Aintree last month must defer judgement on alterations that might yet be made, but for now the British Horseracing Authority has decided that neither of the fatalities that tarnished the John Smith's Grand National could have been anticipated. A review of veterinary and television evidence yesterday concluded that the loss of both Synchronised and According To Pete was attributable to "factors one could neither have foreseen nor prevented".

In the case of Synchronised, the BHA is also satisfied that his two-minute canter after getting loose before the start did not contribute to the tragedy. The Cheltenham Gold Cup winner's heart and respiration were both found to be barely above resting rate when checked before he lined up. As for his fall at Becher's Brook, "he appeared to have a clear sight of the fence and did not make a significant error but became unbalanced prior to landing and fell sideways", dislodging Tony McCoy. He appeared to be perfectly sound as he continued loose, jumping the next four fences without mishap, but for some reason decelerated into the 11th fence and dragged his rear end through the obstacle. Vets promptly on the scene found untreatable injury to a hind leg.

According To Pete was still going strongly in seventh at Becher's Brook on the second circuit. He had clear space in front, and jumped the fence well – only to find he had nowhere to go on landing. He collided with On His Own, who had fallen, and was brought down; as he got to his feet, Weird Al collided with his left side. The BHA could not determine which of these impacts caused the fracture to his foreleg.

The BHA also reviewed the chaos at the start, where the field had to be lined up three times, and deemed all 40 riders at some stage to have been in breach of the guidelines. All have received a written reprimand but none will be charged, taking into account the delay caused by Synchronised and problems restoring the starting tape.

The starting procedure, along with the size of the field and the fences, will remain under review by the BHA. For now its director of regulation, Jamie Stier, said: "It remains too early to speculate as to whether any changes will be made. We will be liaising closely with Aintree in collating and examining all relevant evidence from this year."

A more gratifying exercise has meanwhile seen the transfer to Kempton today of the excellent card scheduled for the waterlogged course at Ascot; entry, moreover, is free. Top of the bill is Red Cadeaux, who went so close in the Melbourne Cup last year, though he cannot afford any rustiness in the Sagaro Stakes against a recent scorer here in Thimaar.

Frankel's public gallop at Newmarket has been brought forward 24 hours and will now take place before Saturday's 2,000 Guineas card.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Uncle Fred (4.55 Kempton) Resumed off a fair mark at Windsor but was trapped in traffic while travelling strongly. Has won here and has good rails draw.

Next best

Burwaaz (4.20 Kempton) This may prove the limit of his stamina but is the type to take to the surface. On physique, could build on a rock-solid first campaign in Group sprints.

One to watch

Saratoga Slew (Marco Botti) Narrowly failed to land a gamble on debut for new stable yesterday at Lingfield, beaten by one that had gained first run, but should soon find compensation.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders