Grand National false start rules: Can race be cancelled and what happened in 1993?

WITH 40 runners chomping at the bit to get their run in the Grand National underway, starting the race can prove tricky.

Over the years there have been dozens of false starts.

With the tension high, jockeys are keen to get their horse into the perfect starting position as they take aim at the famous first fence.

From his stand, the starter will call the 40 runners in by raising his flag.

If he's not satisfied with how the runners approach the tape he can ask them to take a turn and start again, also known as a false start.

This can create problems with the horses on edge and runners now even more nervous about losing their position.


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The starter gives them then one more go to start the race. If they are again not satisfied, the runners will be forced into a standing start.

The drama of 1993

New rules have been brought in after the chaos of the 1993 renewal.

Here the race was deemed void for the only time in Grand National history with animal rights protesters causing a scene at the first fence earlier on.

Thirty horses of the 40 set to line up continued to race despite a second false start being called.

In one of the most embarrassing episodes for the sport, the jockeys continued as if the race was on.

Seven horses finished despite the false start and Esha Ness was the 'winner'.

The 'race that never was' was shown on TV with the commentators calling them home but warning punters it would likely be void anyway.

The Jockey Club refused to run the race again and bookies were forced to refund all punters.


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