Everyone in the horse racing and betting industries looks forward to the Grand National. It’s the one day when you can guarantee you will be significantly busier.
As ever the race comes under a lot of criticism from certain quarters. Last year our Uckfield shop was targeted by ‘Animal Rights Activists’ who turned up with their banners and leaflets and camped outside the shop for a few hours trying to dissuade the public from having their yearly flutter. Out of 8,000 betting shops nationally we felt we were somewhat unlucky to collar this firm on our manor.
Although I admire the activists’ passion I feel when it comes to horse racing their views are somewhat misguided. Our staff tried to speak to them rationally but they weren’t having any of it! The points we tried to make were:
*There have been significant safety measures made to the race in recent years including reducing the severity of the fences which has resulted in no fatalities since 2012.
*Horses love racing; hence if the jockey falls off they still carry on running and jumping with vigour.
*The facilities in the racing yards are second to none and when the horses’ career finishes the vast majority are safely homed and live to a ripe old age.
On to this year’s race and it is all about ‘Tiger Roll’; the 2018 winner looks in fine form after his facile victory at Cheltenham. Industry experts are predicting that this will be the most backed horse on the day since Red Rum. There would be no surprise if the horse went off at 3/1 which would be the shortest price for a National runner since Poethlyn (11/4) in 1919.