Derek Fox is hoping to be passed fit to ride by a doctor at Jack Berry House on Monday so that he can resume his partnership with Warwick Classic winner One For Arthur in Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National.
Lucinda Russell’s eight-year-old is a 14-1 shot to give Scotland what would be only its second’s National winner.
Fox, 24, fractured his wrist and damaged a collar bone on March 9 but is riding out again and sat on One For Arthur on Saturday. Providing he is given clearance by the doctor, who has been monitoring his progress, he will resume at Carlisle on Wednesday.
The only time the pair have been beaten in three starts this season, One For Arthur finished a close-up three length fifth on their sighter for the National in the Becher Chase. “I’m looking forward to Saturday,” said Fox. “I rode him out on Saturday. It was only a canter but he seemed in good order.”
Speaking about the race, he said he thought that though One For Arthur has form on soft, over four miles and three furlongs, good to soft ground would be fine. “He’s going nearly a mile further than he’s been before,” he pointed out. “I don’t think good safe ground will bother him too much. He has a good action.”
Sligo-born Fox, who arrived at Russell’s Kinross yard three-and-a-half years ago after he had just lost his 5lb claim with a promise of very little, has worked his way up the ladder. His first ride for the yard, two months after he arrived, at Hexham in November 2013, was a winner for which the jockey was highly praised. He has not looked back and when long-time stable jockey Peter Buchanan retired, he slipped seamlessly into the role.
In other National news, Paul Nicholls confirmed that leading northern jockey Brian Hughes has come in for the ride on Vicente, last year’s Scottish National winner who was bought recently by Trevor Hemmings following the demise of Many Clouds.
The JP McManus team expect to run More of That, Cause of Causes, Regal Encore and Pendra with a decision expected on Monday regarding top weight Carlingford Lough.
Frank Berry, his racing manager, confirmed that riding plans are being left open until Barry Geraghty, who returned to the saddle after injury on Sunday with a winner and a faller, decides which horse gets his vote. However, Aidan Coleman and Robbie Power are on stand-by to ride his discards.