Racing: Extended holiday is Jodami's reward

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The Independent Online
JODAMI, the Gold Cup winner, will not run at Aintree's Grand National meeting and may be put away in preparation for next season's campaign, writes Greg Wood.

'I only put him in at Liverpool in case things didn't go right at Cheltenham,' his trainer, Peter Beaumont, said yesterday. 'I'll talk to Mr Yeadon (his owner) about it, obviously, but whether we find a little race for him somewhere or whether we call it a day for this season, I don't mind.

'He's had six runs, all in top class races. It's tremendous to win both the Irish and English Gold Cups in the same season, I think he's the only one that's done it. He's eight, he will develop and strengthen more and come on for that for next season.'

A more immediate strengthening is the aim for Carl Llewellyn, who broke his collarbone in a fall from Andrew's First at the Festival on Wednesday. Llewellyn was the winning jockey on Party Politics in last year's Grand National, and the chance to repeat that success on 3 April is a powerful stimulus for the healing process.

'I'm quite good, really. It's a clean and uncomplicated break,' Llewellyn said yesterday. 'I'm just off to have another X-ray now and some more physio. It's all very hopeful and I couldn't be happier at the moment.

'I'm hoping to come back a few days before the National, on the Wednesday at Ascot for Mole Board, so I'll have one or two days riding before. I'm keeping my legs fit on the exercise bike and luckily my horse isn't the sort I'm going to have to push for four miles. He's a horse that just does it all on his own, so it won't be too bad.'

Riding arrangements are uncertain for another of Party Politics's rivals at Aintree, Royal Athlete, but Ben de Haan, who partnered the 66-1 chance into third place behind Jodami on Thursday, is predictably keen to keep the ride.

'It is down to Mrs Pitman, who has seven in the race at present,' he said yesterday. 'Royal Athlete ran out of his skin at Cheltenham. He would have a great chance and I have a decent record in the race.'