Horseracing: National will be rearranged - Aintree pledge

Wednesday, February 28, 2001
Organisers of the Aintree Grand National have pledged to arrange a new date this year if the race falls foul of foot-and-mouth.

A seven-day horse racing suspension has been enforced by the Jockey Club following the virus outbreak.

But a spokesman for the blue riband event says the race will only be postponed if the ban is extended as far as the April 7 race.

Aintree spokesman Nigel Payne said: "If we had to postpone the race, we would rearrange for a later date.

"We would not cancel the event. It means far too much to us and the region and we will be doing our utmost to see it through in April."

Aintree officials say they are waiting to see whether the Cheltenham Festival goes ahead in mid-March.

The Liverpool Echo says the Grand National is crucial to the region's economy, bringing in about £18m to the area.