I am lucky enough to ride out the reigning champion, Many Clouds, each morning at his trainer Oliver Sherwood's yard in Lambourn. so I know first-hand the incredible care he (as well as every other horse in the yard) receives each day. For me, Many Clouds is my best mate and I care for him like you would expect a best friend to.
The Grand National is - by design, no less - an accident waiting to happen. Forty horses compete for space on the 4.5mile course fraught with obstacles, jumps and dangerous terrain. Last year, only 17 horses - fewer than half - managed to reach the finishing post. And while the race organisers were quick to highlight an unusual absence of fatalities, they failed to mention that two horses were killed in the run-up to the event earlier that week. More than three dozen horses who might otherwise have been grazing and running in the fields have been killed at Aintree in the last 50 years.