The biggest single race in the hunt season is just days away and all sights are on Aintree Racecourse where the preparations for the John Smith’s Grand National meeting are in full swing.
With two courses to take care of, both the Mildmay and Grand National courses are being watered and every precaution is being taken to make the action as safe as possible for the horses and riders who will take to them next week.
“We’ve done a bit of watering. It’s been raining but we’ve not had a lot, probably about a millimetre and a bit,” said clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch.
“After this it looks mainly dry with showers on Friday. We’ll probably do more watering on Wednesday. Temperatures have cooled off quite a bit. There’s some uncertainty as to what the weather is going to do next week. We’ll just keep monitoring it.
“At the moment all courses are good, with good to soft places on the National course. If we can keep it round about that it would be great. If it eases a bit more I wouldn’t be too worried. We’ll just keep an eye on things.
“We’ve done about a week’s watering. When we had the warm weather we were watering every other day. We’ve had a similar amount of rainfall as we had last year. Next week looks a bit more unsettled, but it’s quite far out to say for sure.”
Tulloch went on: “We’ve put an additional pop-up irrigation system on either side of Becher’s and made a wash-down unsaddling area on sand with up to 16 wash-down points, and we’ve got shaded areas in case it is hot. We’ve taken lots of precautions.