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Angus McNae

Captain's Blog - Monday 16th April 2012

The debate and repercussions after the Grand National last Saturday will continue for many weeks yet and ultimately I suspect we will move to a position where the fences are modified again and the maximum number of runners allowed will be reduced. I am not going to add much to the debate by writing endlessly about the topic, better brains will debate it till they are blue in the face and ultimately things will change as far as the National is concerned and whilst this may not be a popular view I do think the future of the race is in some doubt. I would, however, like to broaden the debate a touch and quickly deal with the issue of horses getting loose before a race.

Synchronised ran loose before the National and having been thoroughly checked by the vets was allowed to run. I do not think for one minute that the horse running loose before the race contributed to his death, that was unfortunately, a tragic accident. However, surely it is about time that we have a rule that states if any horse runs loose before a race on the track that horse should be automatically withdrawn. This would prevent those with a vested interest in a race making biased and ill conceived judgements. You simply cannot ask a jockey or trainer whether a horse should run or not, they cannot make that judgement. A vet can of course help influence the decision but can a vet really carry out a proper inspection of a horse’s wellbeing in two minutes down at the start? the answer is no, he can only make a judgement based on a set of quick and simple criteria which by their very nature cannot be thorough. There will always be another day for a horse to run if it is withdrawn having run loose, to let it run is to play Russian Roulette with its future and a new rule is required, it’s simple, run loose before the race and you are out!

As far as the race itself was concerned I thought one horse who should be backed if he turns up next year is On His Own. He was loving it out there and cruising when hampered and falling at Becher’s second time round. He had been jumping well, in fact he seemed to enjoy himself constantly pricking his ears looking for the next obstacle and he was going very well when he came down. I did not back him, so am not allowing my pocket to talk, but with Ruby back on him next year, he could be something to bet on!

I am at home all day today entertaining my daughter who is just starting to walk which makes life a whole deal more challenging. All good fun though. See you all tomorrow.

I have just one selection today for you and it is Zafeens Pearl at Windsor who is about a 5/1 poke at the moment.


Today’s Selection

4.30 Windsor - Zaffens Pearl (each way 5/1 William Hill)



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