Ryan Mania fall prompts jockeys to demand day off after Grand National


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The Independent Online

The Professional Jockeys Association has moved to prevent a repeat of the painful fate that befell Ryan Mania the day after he won the Grand National.

The PJA is calling for a break in jump racing the day after the showpiece Aintree event next year and the PJA chief executive, Paul Struthers, said the move would help all the jockeys involved in the meeting.

"You can't force a jockey not to ride the next day," Struthers said. "But this move would give all of the jockeys involved in the Grand National a break and allow the winning jockey to enjoy the experience and take part in the various media activities around the win."

There are two jump meetings provisionally scheduled to be held on the Sunday after next year's Grand National but Struthers told the BBC that the PJA Board will ask the British Horseracing Authority for those meetings to be changed to Flat cards.

Mania, 23, is hoping to return to racing next week after suffering neck and back injuries in the fall the day after he won Saturday's National on 66-1 shot Auroras Encore.

He was kept in hospital for two nights but hopes to be fit to ride in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr a week on Saturday. However, he will need to be cleared to race by the BHA's chief medical adviser, Dr Michael Turner.

Sue Montgomery adds: A cold spring is the bane of Flat trainers as they nurture their precious three-year-old flowers towards the first prestige prizes of the season.

"You have to be happy with that," said Newmarket's John Gosden after watching his 2,000 Guineas contender Ghurair easily match strides under Paul Hanagan with a very smart five-year-old at level weights in a workout over seven furlongs, "but the horses are well behind where they would usually be at this time of year."

Horses, being animals, develop to the rhythm of nature, and nature can only be accommodated, not gainsaid. "It's been a desperately cold winter," said William Haggas, another of the town's trainers, "and dealing with it has been a challenge."

The betting lists for the 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas on the Rowley Mile early next month are dominated by animals trained elsewhere, mostly in Ireland. Local hopes seems to rest among the colts with Ghurair and Moohaajim, from the Marco Botti yard, and among the fillies with the Godolphin contender Certify and Haggas's charge Rosdhu Queen.

Today Haggas introduced once-raced seven-furlong maiden winner Lady Nouf into the equation. "Rosdhu Queen is good, but she looks like a sprinter. Lady Nouf is taller and scopier. She's certainly talented and she'll run in the Nell Gwyn here next week. Whether she's good enough for a Guineas, we'll see then."

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Rockalong (7.0 Kempton) Progressed with experience in his first season. Starts his second off what could be a very fair mark.

Next best

Henry San (3.0 Wincanton) Has not run since November, but given his trainer's current form, this should not prove any drawback.

Where the money's going

Nargys went to 20-1 from 25-1 for the 1,000 Guineas with Ladbrokes.