I am a big fan of the National - I grew up watching it - it was the one day of the year that my mum and dad ever went close to a bookies and we all picked our horses and then watched the race - I remember winning 87.5p one year and being so delighted!!
However, the race has become a bit tainted, even for me, a diehard supporter of it - last year it was quite horrific to see the two horses down and covered up while the race went round them and this year similar scenes with According to Pete and Synchronised both being fatally injured. Synchronised particularly tragic with the pre-race problems and the fact the horse was jumping without McCoy on board when it injured itself. High profile as well of course with Synchronised winning the Gold Cup this year.
I just wonder if the more horses are bred to go quicker the less likely they can cope with races like the National with the massive fences and huge field. It's becoming a tainted spectacle. Don't take my word for it - read the article here from someone who knows far more than me.
I fear for the race - while I don't agree with some of the article - is this the only way for it to continue? If I feel a bit queasy about what has happened over recent years how are the one day a year racing public feeling? Maybe because we follow the sport we analyse the detail and we worry too much - maybe the one day-ers watch the race and switch the TV off and forget about it for another year?
As for the betting - well I got beaten by a nostril today on a small personal bet but was pleased with 2nd place. 4PA haven't really made any progress since Cheltenham and it's been a frustrating time following the service - certainly getting harder to get the odds quoted and when profit is being scraped half a point here and a point there odds make a massive difference and I'm always on the wrong side of them. I do still think 4PA is a profitable service to follow, even without the odds, but we could do with a good winner (or two) in the coming weeks.