The 2017 Grand National winner, One For Arthur, has been ruled out for the season and will not be back to defend his Aintree title, according to Peter Scudamore, partner of winning trainer Lucinda Russell.
Not two weeks ago, trainer Lucinda Russell was convinced there was more to come from One For Arthur, suggesting he possessed the potential to become the first horse to win the race more than once since the legendary Red Rum.
Russell said “He is still only eight, so I believe there is more improvement in him.
“Eight is young for a Grand National winner and he also did his best piece of work the week before the race. That’s me convinced he’s still improving and can get even better this season.”
Unfortunately for connections, there was no sign of any damage until he started to do a little more at home on his return to work.
“Ironically we scanned him after the National and again before he started after the summer and nothing showed,” explained Peter Scudamore.
“But when we felt his off-fore after he did a stronger canter on Wednesday there was heat in it. It’s only disrupted the fibres and there is no hole in the tendon but it’s a bit like being a little bit pregnant, he’ll need the season off.”
He added: “We’re so grateful for what he did for us and all being well he will be back next year. No yard can afford to lose a horse like One For Arthur but hopefully we still have a nice team for the winter.”
The eight-year-old was only the second horse trained in Scotland to win the race, when jockey Derek Fox rode the race of his life gaining huge momentum after the second-to-last fence.
As he took the last fence, One For Arthur jumped into the lead and accelerated to go three lengths clear at the elbow, increasing that advantage in the final furlong as he crossed the finish line four-and-a-half lengths ahead of Cause of Causes in second place.
Hopes were of course more than justified that he could equal that performance in the 2018 Grand National but as things stand it won't be until 2019 that we see him back in action over the Grand National fences.
Blaklion now leads the ante-post Grand National 2018 odds on 16/1 with Paddy Power.
Picture by: Ian Rutherford/PA Archive/PA Images