The opportunity of taking part in a major sporting event is a dream that is held dear by countless people. Clearly this includes riding in the Grand National, as demonstrated by the inaugural John Smith’s People’s Race, which will open the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National day card at Aintree on April 14Over 3,500 members of the public competed to be selected to take part in the six-furlong race in front of 70,000 spectators at Aintree and a worldwide TV audience.
Thanks to S&N UK and Ladbrokes, at stake is a share of a £100,000 prize fund. Each of the novice jockeys will earn £5,000 for a charity of their choice and whoever comes in first will win a further £50,000 for their charity and, for themselves, a five-star trip to Dubai for the 2008 racing World Cup.
To promote the event John Smith’s connived with the Sunday Mirror to run an April Fool’s story about Mark Galliers, who was planning to use his participation in the People’s Race to unleash the revolutionary, battery-powered, "go-faster" horseshoe that he had invented.
No nonsense indeed.