Racing has rebutted suggestions that horses who have died at Aintree have been caught up in the horse-meat scandal following revelations that one of the men being questioned, Peter Boddy, is contracted to remove carcasses at the course.
Boddy, whose slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire has been closed by the UK's Food Standards Agency after an investigation found horse carcasses had been used to make beefburgers and kebabs sold in Britain, has been employed at Aintree and Haydock to transport and dispose of carcasses, but officials said they were confident that no racehorse could enter the food chain.
There were two fatalities in last year's Grand National, the JP McManus-owned Synchronised and According To Pete, but sources said neither would have been dealt with by Boddy, with Aintree stressing it followed the strict guidlines that are in place.
Synchronised – which became McManus's first Cheltenham Gold Cup winner last March – was returned to trainer Jonjo O'Neill's yard and According To Pete was reportedly cremated.
All racecourses have a facility in place to collect and dispose of horses killed during a race. When injury occurs, veterinary advice must be followed and if a horse is put down, the carcass is usually disposed of by track staff. (©Daily Telegraph, London)