The animal welfare organisations, bleeding hearts and the ignorant do-gooders are once again out in force to bash the Grand National – despite yet more ludicrous and unnecessary ‘safety’ measures being taken to try and reduce the race to a run-of-the-mill gallop. I find this all laughable at a time when true horse cruelty cases doubled between 2011 and 2012. The animals that take part in the National are the equine equivalent of Premier League superstars – pampered, mollycoddled, cared for, the best training and treatment money can buy. Most make it to retirement where they can enjoy truly idyllic days as a much loved family pet. Contrast that with the fate of thousands of the estimated 75% of horses that are not micro-chipped as the law obliges. I was in Blackpool this week, even seeing the relatively well looked after beasts along the promenade brought a twinge of sympathy. Elsewhere I have seen numerous examples of horses tethered on common ground in all weathers, poor, miserable brutes. They are not hard to find. Why no big uproar? The animal lobby shrieks hysterically in the unfortunate event of an injured racehourse being humanely destroyed but not a whimper about jockeys who are killed or paralysed. Funny that innit? The Grand National is an easy target and gives the mindless many a platform to spout horse**it. Long live Aintree!