New Grand National safety changes announced

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A number of changes have been announced for the Grand National next year, following a safety review.

An official inquiry was launched after the deaths of two horses in April's race – including Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised.

Despite calls for the field size to be reduced, the authority has deemed that the maximum number of competitors will remain at 40 horses.

The start will now be moved up 90 yards, in an attempt to try and reduce the amount of speed they build up before the first fence.

Measures will also be taken to try and prevent horses from getting caught up in the starting tape.

The start was particularly controversial in this year's race and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) rebuked the riders for their conduct at the beginning.

Director of race day operations and regulation for the BHA Jamie Stier added: "A more controlled environment at the start, along with reducing the distance between the start and the first fence, could have the effect of reducing the early speed of the race."

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