Two new Grand National fence designs have been given a favourable response
Last Updated: 08/12/12 5:34pm
Gullible Gordon jumps one of the re-designed fences
Two new Grand National fence designs have been given a favourable response with jockeys at Aintree giving the thumbs-up to what appeared to be a seamless change with all of the fences on the famous course looking outwardly the same.
However, four obstacles have been rebuilt with softer cores should the spruce on the surface be knocked off during a race and the fences came through their first tests with flying colours when used in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase and the Betfred "Goals Galore" Grand Sefton Handicap Chase.
Sam Twiston-Davies, who won the two races on Hello Bud and Little Josh respectively, said: "If there were any changes it didn't seem obvious."
Conor O'Farrell, fourth on Swing Bill in the Becher Chase, said: "I felt that the course, including the new fences, rode very well and I had no issue whatsoever."
Veteran jockey Brian Harding, who rode Fabalu who fell at the third-last fence in the Becher, said: "It was grand. The course rode great, as did the fences."
While happy with comments they have received on the day, officials at the Liverpool course will now make a reasoned assessment.
"They seemed to get some favourable comments back from jockeys and it all went quite well," said clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch.
"We'll be sitting down and having a chat with the jockeys and assessing how we take things forward, if we take things forward, and take it from there."
The fences with the alterations were the 13th and 14th fences, the last two jumped during any race on the National course - they now have plastic inserts.
The other two fences are open ditches, the third and the 11th, which have a traditional birch frame and are built up over that. Also trialled during the day was the use of outriders to help round up loose horses.