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As the curtain comes down on the Cheltenham Festival horse trainers’ focus turns to the £1million Grand National at Aintree on April 8.
The World’s greatest steeplechase is contested over four miles, two furlongs and 74 yards and comprises two circuits of the famous old racecourse where a maximum field of 40 runners will face 30 of the most unique and testing fences in national hunt racing.
Aintree employees have once again stepped in to aid trainers preparing horse for the Randox Health Grand National Festival by erecting special Grand National schooling fences at four venues in Britain and Ireland.
The fences are available for any trainer to use for potential runners in the three races at the National Festival at Aintree that are run over the National fences – the Foxhunters’ Chase (April 6), the Topham Chase (April 7) and the National.
The schooling fences, which are prepared by Aintree ground staff, are situated at David Pipe’s yard on the Devon/Somerset border, the Jockey Club’s Lambourn gallops, the Malton schooling grounds and the Curragh training grounds in Ireland.
The schooling fences at David Pipe’s yard, Lambourn and Malton were scheduled to open on March 15, with the facility at the Curragh available from March 22.
“With just under four weeks to go until the Randox Health Grand National Festival gets underway, we are delighted to once again offer Aintree-style schooling fences at four different venues across Britain and Ireland,” Aintree clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch said.
“The schooling fences should prove very useful for trainers preparing horses for any of the three races over the Grand National fences next month.
“I would like to thank everyone involved at the four venues for their help, which enables Aintree to offer this very valuable facility.”
The 2017 Randox Health Grand National Festival takes place at Aintree from Thursday, April 6 to Saturday, April 8.
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