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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 12:52 GMT
Richard Pitman's Aintree course guide
Opening Straight Becher's Brook Foinavon Canal Turn Valentine's Brook The Chair


Jump six - and on the second circuit number 22 - is the famous Becher's Brook, which despite becoming somewhat friendlier recently, still measures 6ft 9ins on the landing side, a drop of 2ft from take off.

The fence is angled at about 15 degrees across the course coming back from the inside rail, which means the horses on the wide outside will rise first but give vital lengths away.

As the course also makes its first turn here, horses are not expecting the ground to disappear under them on landing.

The riders need to let the reins slip through their hands while sitting back in the saddle to enable their body weight to act as ballast to keep the horses hindquarters from overtaking their head!

  • Richard Pitman is a BBC TV pundit and former top jockey.

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