Grand National runners reduced again just hours before Aintree race as two horses withdrawn

Grand National runners reduced again just hours before Aintree race as two horses withdrawn

WATCH NOW: Fans dress to impress at Ladies Day at the Grand National

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 13/04/2024

- 11:51

There will now be just 32 horses running at the race this afternoon

The number of horses running in Saturday's Grand National has been reduced just hours before the race will begin.

Two horses have been withdrawn from the showpiece event at Aintree after being found to be lame this morning.

From this year, the total number running in the race was brought down from 40 to 34 in an attempt to focus on horse welfare.

But that has been reduced further to 32 at the last minute after two horses were pulled out and will not be replaced.


Grand National: Chambard has been withdrawn from the race at Aintree


Chambard, who was a 66/1 outsider, was the first horse to be declared a non-runner this morning.

The 12-year-old hasn't raced since the Cheltenham Festival last month and has been declared lame.

Run Wild Fred was then announced as a non-runner a couple of hours later to further reduce the runners for the big race.

The 10-year-old has been withdrawn from the race for the same reason as Chambard.

Clerk of the course Sulekha Varma has provided an update on the going at Aintree ahead of Saturday's action.

Varma said: "It was dry overnight and it’s good to soft, soft in places on the Mildmay courses and soft, good to soft in places on the National course.

"The forecast suggests there could be showers around from mid-morning."

As well as a reduced field, the Grand National will see a number of other changes this year.

The time of the race has been brought forward to 4pm from the traditional 5.15pm start time.

This change is intended to help the ground be in a better condition for the race.

There will now be a standing start at the beginning of the race and they have also added additional vet checks.

The distance to the first fence has been reduced in order for horses to meet it at a slower speed.


Run Wild Fred

Grand National: Run Wild Fred has also been withdrawn from the Aintree race


Fences have also had foam and rubber to boards added, while the height of Fence 11 has been reduced by two inches.

Sadly two horses died on Friday to take the tally to 65 at the meeting since 2000.

Giovinco was the first to die on Ladies Day, falling at the final fence of the Mildmay Novices' Chase.

He was given treatment on the track but could not be saved from the injuries he sustained.


Grand National: Changes have been made to the big event at Aintree


A second horse, Pikar, died after breaking his neck after a fall.

Pikar fell at the second last hurdle in the last race of the day on Friday.

Responding to the deaths, Animal Aid said: "If the death toll was this high in any other 'sport', it would be banned immediately.

"However, because it's 'just' horses being killed, then the racing industry and the government seem content to allow these innocent animals to suffer horrific injuries and die."

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