Aintree racecourse has announced plans to make changes to the Grand National to make the historic race safer for horses and jockeys.
Following the 2023 race, the Jockey Club conducted a review of the race, which has led to several changes being made for the 2024 running of the world's most famous steeplechase.
There have been no fewer than 10 changes made for the 2024 race in the biggest shake-up to the Aintree showpiece since 2012.
Here are more details on those changes…
Aintree's clerk of the course was handed the task of announcing the planned changes to the Grand National and the reasoning behind them.
Sulekha Varma said: "We know from research papers and internal analysis of jump races that there is a direct correlation between the number of runners and the risk of falling, unseating or being brought down.
"However, we also must consider that reducing the field size by too great a number could create a faster race and have an adverse impact in terms of safety."
Former jockey Ruby Walsh, twice a winner of the Grand National and now leading pundit, feels these latest changes will enhance the race and ‘help to ensure its future'.
He said: "The slower you go, the safer things are. Horses are competitive and will race each other but these changes should help to slow down both horse and rider.
Meanwhile, trainer Lucinda Russell – who has enjoyed success twice in the last six editions of the Grand National – says she ‘fully supports' the decision to reduce the size of the field.
Russell stated: "I don't feel that six fewer runners will make a difference to the heritage of the race. It can only be a good step and hopefully will help improve the start procedures.”