Aintree rejects plea to delay Grand National by a few days until betting shops re-open

Aintree REJECTS pleas to delay Grand National by a few days until betting shops are allowed to re-open as part of Government’s roadmap out of lockdown

  • An estimated £125m is bet on the National — Britain’s biggest betting race 
  • Betting shops are set to re-open two days after the Grand National on April 10
  • Betting industry representatives had been in talks with the BHA and Jockey Club

Aintree has rejected a request to delay this year’s Grand National by a few days so that the biggest betting race of the year could be run when betting shops have reopened under the Government’s roadmap out of Covid-19 lockdown.

The race is due to be run on April 10 with betting shops hoping to open their doors two days later along with other non-essential retail.

The Betting & Gaming Council, which represents betting shops, said such a move could hand the cash-strapped sport a Levy windfall of up to £1 million while a number of high-profile trainers offered their backing.

Bookmakers asked for the Grand National at Aintree to be delayed this year

But Dickon White, who runs Jockey Club-owned Aintree, said that after reviewing the idea of a switch the decision had been taken to stick with the original date.

One factor in the decision is that the April 12 date for reopening of non-essential retail has not yet been set in stone by the Government.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting & Gaming Council, said the decision was ‘disappointing’.

Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson could use cheek pieces on Altior when he attempts to win his third Champion Chase at Cheltenham next month. The trainer said: ‘It’s something we might try.’

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