By any standards Derek Fox’s return 3½ weeks after breaking his left wrist and right collar bone in a fall at Carlisle, was quick but, as he drove out One For Arthur up the run-in at the end of Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National, you would never have known.
If it seems miraculous, then those working the miracle are all employed at the Injured Jockeys’ Fund’s northern rehabilitation centre, Jack Berry House.
“It’s a huge team effort,” said Jo Russell, who runs the place.
“We got a message about what he had done and that he had a good ride in the National and it looked unlikely. He came here as a resident Monday to Friday and by the second week he was making good progress so we thought there might be a chance.”
His first appointment was with Dr Dan Crowley, who attends Jack Berry House every Monday to see what the weekend has brought in. He called a team meeting, which would have involved physiotherapists, a strength and conditioning coach and even the nutritionist.
“No one person is more important than any other,” explained Russell. “Even the housekeeper, who got his room ready, plays their part and you need an understanding trainer too. Peter Scudamore came here to see how he was getting on.”
Scudamore was effusive in his praise for the centre.
“I used to go to meetings with Jack [Berry], who is three times the man I am mentally and energetically. He said he was going to raise millions to put it up and I used to think why don’t we concentrate on something achievable! It’s a fabulous place and without it Derek would never have been able to ride.”
One For Arthur got home at 1.30am on Sunday and Lucinda Russell’s vet broke off from the celebrations to give him the once over.
“He’s absolutely fine,” said the trainer. “He’s much fresher than most of my staff.” He will parade at Kelso today and will, no doubt, put in a guest appearance at the Perth festival.