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'I was only trying to help' - Danny Cook reflects on emergency Becher's role

Danny Cook has acknowledged he was probably wrong to get involved in efforts to ensure the Grand National field bypassed Becher's Brook, although he pointed out he was only trying to help.

Cook, who had come down when I Just Know fell at Becher's first time round, was seen waving the horses around the fence on the second circuit, which was bypassed because doctors were treating Charlie Deutsch on the other side.

He was spoken to by Aintree stewards and advised to leave the bypassing roles to the team whose responsibility it was to doll off the fence and alert runners and riders by flag and whistles.

The inquiry, reported on the BHA stewards' Twitter feed, did not go down well on social media, with Paddy Brennan and Tom Cannon defending Cook and comparing his actions to those of Ruby Walsh, who was praised for a similar reaction during the 2015 National.

Cook said on Sunday: "I fell on my horse and then Charlie was lying down sore and they put the screens up around him. They dolled off the fence and put the markers in. When you're riding in the National you don't expect to be bypassing fences.

"I probably shouldn't have been there looking at it now, but I was trying to keep the race going and everybody safe. It didn't bother me that the stewards spoke to me, they were just doing their job. I don't know what I'd do if it happened again – it was instinctive."

There are well-established procedures in place when fences are bypassed and there was concern Cook had taken up a potentially dangerous position by the fence, not one where flag staff would stand.

Nevertheless, the BHA stressed stewards had neither reprimanded nor criticised the jockey.

Head of media Robin Mounsey said: "The stewards were very clear to Danny Cook that they were appreciative of his intentions, as we all are. It's a wonderful aspect of our sport, and a testament to our jockeys, that their first thought in these situations is to help fellow riders and horses.

"While we are appreciative of the jockeys’ offers to help in these circumstances, there are set procedures in place for bypassing fences and in the interests of the welfare of everyone involved these procedures are best operated by the trained people who are in place to manage them.

"The stewards have taken no action against Danny and there was no reprimand intended. When unusual incidents such as this occur the stewards have to look into it, and if an inquiry is held then we have to put a notice on our website in the interests of transparency."

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