Aintree Course Difficulty: Expert Steeplechasing Opinions Consider Deceptive-Faced Jumps Real Trouble, Daily Racing Form, 1922-03-23


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e AINTREE COURSE DIFFICULTY Expert Steeplechasing Opinions Consider Deceptive — Faced Jumps Real Trouble. LONDON. England. March 10, -The subject of danger in the Livipool Qraad Natiotiitl is again being discussed miscellaneously ami with BSeeh unwisdom. Che fence- are said 1o be dangerou- and the fact that all but Siiaun Spadah— and he nearly —fell in last wars race is the gist of the arg intent in favor of "softer" f-nces. Some ten years ..go atse Glenside was the only eteaa survivor amun; twenty-six. The mere statement of these facts, together with the remark that in steeplechases at Aintree a large. percentage of th" field well nigh invatiably fail to reach the winning post seems to furnish an answer to the question. But this view of the eaee is not accepted by the conductors of the meeting and they find many in Hose asreement with them. The accidents are not attributed to the fences, but to more thau one other cause. The fences of the course are built up to afford a sp.- ial test, because it is intended that the race shall be unique and difficult. Some practical hunting and steeplechase men do not approve of the way in which the obstacles are said to be built. Some three feet of inflexible birch has, it is stated, too soft a face and by this horses are decohed. not knowing what they have, to do. The birch alone, almost solid as it is. they would jump, bat the facing looks as if it could tw swept through and so they chance it. The best opinions about the Aintree race and its eourse seems to consider thai the reasons for accident are that tiie wrong tv|io of bane is frequently allowed to i.impete: that many of the runners have been inadequately schooled for what i- admittedly aa e. eptonal task, and that some of the jockeys are tarkteg in skill. Perhaps also I few are not anxious 1o ride in the race at all, realizing what is so likely to happ n and nervous apprehension is a ready road to misfortune. With all the mishaps in the Grand National — its difficulty is its chief public attraction — -serious injuries arc of the rarest occurrence. It is a long time since there has been anything worse than a fractured collarbone, anil of that a steeplechase jockey thinks nothing it is all in the days work and he is only annoyed because for two or three weeks it keeps him out of the saddle.

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