Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Maguire to remain on sidelines until November at the earliest

The fickle nature of the National Hunt racing game can't be better illustrated than the ups-and-downs enjoyed and endured by Jason Maguire, one of the sport's leading jockeys, who won the John Smith's Grand National in April of this year then suffered a serious neck injury as the result of a fall in a minor event at Cartmel on August 28, writes Elliot Slater.

At the time of his injury Irishman Maguire was on the 49-winner mark for the season and in second place in the jump jockeys' championship behind the relentless Tony McCoy, but after it first appeared he had escaped any significant damage it soon transpired that something was amiss and x-rays subsequently revealed a spinal injury in his lower neck. Maguire had been airlifted from the track initially suspected of suffering a broken collarbone, an injury that can heal in as little as four weeks, but in hindsight it appears that Donald McCain's stable jockey was lucky that the damage has not proved irreversible. Those looking at the Grand National betting will be hoping he gets back fit.

Expecting to be on the sidelines until mid-November at the earliest, Maguire explained that he needs to wear a neck brace until mid-October after which he will be issued with a soft brace as the neck begins to regain strength and support his head without complications. At that point regular physio and gym training should ensure that when he does return to the saddle Maguire will be fit and ready to pick up where he left off.  Those following the Grand National free betting should bear this in mind.

Amongst the host of high profile horses awaiting the popular jockey's recovery is last season's high-class hurdler Peddlers Cross who has reportedly schooled very well ahead of his eagerly anticipated debut as a novice chaser. Maguire will not be back in time for that scheduled outing in October, but doubtless he will be present to see just how his Cheltenham Festival and Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner goes first-time out over the larger obstacles.   

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