In 2017, One For Arthur romped home in the Grand National, beating second place finisher, Cause Of Causes, by over four lengths. It was a huge achievement that gave trainer Lucinda Russell her first National win as a trainer. Unfortunately, injury has sidelined the champion since.
Thankfully there’s good news. The tendon injury has healed and the nine year looks set to get back to racing possibly as soon as November. The plan is not set in stone but it looks likely that One For Arthur will go to either the Betfair Chase on 24th November, the Ladbrokes Trophy on 1st December or the Becher Chase on 8th December at Aintree as his comeback race.
Clearly Russell has a lot to be pleased about saying: “He’s started cantering and we’re really pleased with him.
“He’s done a lot of pre-training and been on the treadmill a lot.
“It’s so nice to have him back in the string, to turn round and see his face coming up behind me. It’s perfect.
“There are a few races he can run in at the end of November time.
“I haven’t exactly decided which one.”
— Great British Racing (@GBRacing) September 19, 2018
Of course, it’s too early to determine if One For Arthur will be back competing for a second Grand National title in 2019 but the signs are good. If he can stretch his legs enough over the next few months then anything is possible.
Bookmakers such as Betfair are already offering ante-post odds of 25/1 on him putting him up there with the likes of Tiger Roll, Anibale Fly and Bellshill. So few horses ever manage to win two Grand National titles. What makes it even more difficult for One For Arthur is the prolonged amount of time he has been out with injury.
That said, he will still only be 10-years-old which is an optimal age for chasers in the National. He will have competition but if he can do well on his seasonal debut it will certainly boost his credentials for the Aintree festival in April 2019.