Grand National: AP McCoy will never forget Synchronised

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McCoy 'trying to forget Grand National'

AP McCoy says he will never forget Synchronised, the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner who died in the Grand National.

The champion jockey has been deeply affected by the 14 April race in which his mount and another horse, According To Pete, suffered fatal injuries.

McCoy told BBC Sport he was reluctant to speak about the Aintree contest.

"It is one of those terrible things you wish would never happen. Certainly Synchronised is a horse I won't ever forget," he said.

On Tuesday, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) revealed it has written to all 40 riders expressing its disappointment at their conduct at the start of the Grand National.

There were two false starts and jockeys breached rules by either lining up before being asked to or lining up despite not being instructed to by the starter.

Although Synchronised got loose after unshipping jockey McCoy at the start, leading to an eight-minute delay, he was passed fit to race by a vet who found his heart rate was "barely elevated" above a normal resting rate.

Synchronised fell at the sixth fence, Becher's Brook, but continued riderless for another five fences before fracturing his leg.

Seventeen-time champion McCoy said: "It is a race that I have been trying to forget about rather than talking a lot about for the obvious reasons.

"Like any big sporting event, the start is very important and my position as a jockey has been to get a good start in the race.

"The Grand National being as high profile a race as it is will always create a little bit more publicity than some of the others. It is one of those things. Everyone is trying to do what's best for horse racing so hopefully we will get it sorted out."

The BHA said the start did not play a part in the horses suffering injuries which led to them being put down.

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"It was apparent that factors one could neither have foreseen nor prevented were prevalent in the events that led to the horses sustaining their injuries," said Jamie Stier, BHA director of raceday operations and regulation.

He said it was too early to speculate if any changes to the contest would be made, but the RSPCA has called for fewer runners and further modifications to fences.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: "I have written to the British Horseracing Authority and the management of Aintree racecourse raising major concerns about aspects of the Grand National.

"I have asked for an urgent meeting to discuss making the race safer.

"We need change, a smaller and better qualified field, and an end to killer fences like Becher's Brook."

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