Aidan O'Brien marshals Marengo for potential Derby squad

 

Ryan Mania, having been detained a second night in hospital, was discharged in time to head home to Galashiels for a celebration of his breakthrough success in the Grand National. Scans did reveal that the young Scotsman suffered a minor fracture of his C7 vertebra when taking a fall from his very next mount after Auroras Encore, at Hexham on Sunday. But Mania described himself as no more than "a bit tired and sore", having otherwise suffered only soft tissue and ligament damage, and stressed his determination to be riding again sooner rather than later.

His lucky escape, having been airlifted to hospital in Newcastle, serves as a gratifying coda to another National meeting that reliably tested the sport's nerves. Though a trip to Punchestown sounds increasingly likely for Sprinter Sacre, in broad terms the emphasis can now shift serenely to the Flat. And while the early-season programme continues to meander through the next few days, a captivating week of Classic trials is set to begin at Leopardstown on Sunday.

While most of the imminent rehearsals are oriented towards the Guineas, the road to Epsom starts unmistakably in the P W McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes – a race often favoured by Aidan O'Brien as a starting point for colts en route to the Investec Derby, often via the Derrinstown Trial. Galileo was the most luminous case in point, while High Chaparral, Fame And Glory and Yeats also began their campaigns here.

While O'Brien seems to have given up hope of getting Kingsbarns to the 2,000 Guineas, following a setback, the top Ballydoyle juvenile of 2012 remains firmly in the Epsom picture and will presumably resurface next month in either the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown or the Dante Stakes at York. Even so, his trainer will be looking for a support team to take shape from the six entries he has made for the Ballysax. These include Battle Of Marengo, who rounded off his excellent progress at two with an impressive success in the Beresford Stakes. The last three runnings, however, have been won by Jim Bolger – whose three entries this time include Trading Leather, perhaps not at his best when disappointing behind Kingsbarns in the Racing Post Trophy.

Guineas trials for both colts and fillies are also staged on Sunday's card, and O'Brien is contemplating giving a spin to George Vancouver. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner has moved up the Ballydoyle pecking order for Newmarket following the defection of Kingsbarns. Good ground is considered imperative for this colt, but conditions at Leopardstown are better than in many previous years – officially described as good, good to yielding in places.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Sandy Lane (3.20 Catterick) Thriving when last seen and new trainer's record with recruits suggests he is hardly likely to stop progressing now.

Next best

Beyeh (5.20 Catterick) Remains lightly raced on the Flat for this stable, hacking up at Yarmouth last autumn.

Where the money's going

Dawn Approach is 6-4 from 7-4 with Betfred for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015