IT’S been intriguing to hear the range of debate regarding the latest raft of changes to the Grand National, ostensibly aimed at maximising horse welfare while retaining the race’s character but characterised in many places as a knee-jerk reaction to the pressure brought to bear by vociferous animal rights groups.

It’s particularly interesting to note that the loudest voices crying for the need to stand up to those with a perceived anti-racing stance are not those of participants, but hardcore racing fans, especially those of a certain vintage.