Grand National course walks at Aintree mandatory for first and second time riders at the 2019 Grand National Festival

Aintree Racecourse announces today that any rider who has not ridden over the Grand National fences more than twice at a Grand National Festival will be required to take part in an official course walk with a BHA Jockey Coach.

The Professional Jockeys Association has confirmed its support for this decision, with the course walks happening before racing on each day of the Randox Health Grand National Festival (Thursday, April 4 to Saturday, April 6 inclusive).

Andrew Tulloch, Aintree's Clerk of the Course, explained: "We have staged course walks at the Randox Health Grand National Festival for a number of years now and seen positive results.

"This is the first time it will be mandatory for certain jockeys and those who are required to walk the course can do so on any one of the three days."

Paul Struthers, Chief Executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, declared: "Voluntary course walks have been in place at Aintree for a number of years and have been a success, whilst the mandatory course walks introduced for this year's Cheltenham Festival worked very well last week.

"We were therefore very happy to support this decision, with the course walks taking place at multiple times across the three days under the guidance of BHA Jockey Coaches Carl Llewellyn and Brian Harding."

Aintree and the PJA will be writing to all jockeys next week concerning arrangements at the meeting and those riders who need to undertake a course walk will be notified by the British Horseracing Authority at the declaration stage.

Jockey Harry Cobden, who has won the latest two editions of the Randox Health Topham Chase over the Grand National fences on Ultragold, commented: "I thought the course walk was a great idea so I went around with Carl Llewellyn on the Friday ahead of the 2017 Randox Health Topham Chase.

"I subsequently won the race on Ultragold and Carl's advice and insight proved invaluable, so much so I walked the course with him again the next day before the Randox Health Grand National!"