Bad breaks: Sheehan and Heskin to miss rest of jumps season
Gavin Sheehan and Adrian Heskin are set to miss the rest of the jumps season after breaking an arm on Grand National day.
Sheehan suffered a fracture when Final Nudge came down at the Canal Turn on the first circuit in the Grand National, while Heskin sustained his injury when Rocklander fell in the 3m1f handicap chase earlier on the card.
Saint Are, who was due to be partnered by Heskin but was instead ridden by Ciaran Gethings, was detained in Liverpool on Saturday night but was able to return to trainer Tom George's stables on Sunday after a race that produced no other casualties.
Sheehan, who missed a winner at Ffos Las, said on Sunday: "I was a bit sore after we got brought down at the Canal Turn. I got a fair old kicking so went for an x-ray this morning because my arm was more sore than it was last night.
"I have a small fracture in my left arm. I'm going into Oaksey House tomorrow and will see a specialist on Tuesday. It looks like a nice break and I have it in a half-cast to keep it in the right position. It looks like one that will heal quick."
Sheehan, who won the Grade 2 bumper on Portrush Ted at Aintree on Friday, added: "I had had a good week, winning the bumper on Friday, and Final Nudge was taking well to the fences and enjoying it, but it was over the next few weeks I was hoping for a few winners.
"I had some nice rides to look forward to at the Scottish National meeting, Cheltenham, Punchestown and Sandown. I'll be missing out on a few nice horses."
Heskin underwent surgery on Sunday and his agent Chris Broad reported: "I believe he was having a plate fitted."
Blaklion, long-time favourite for the National, could reappear in the bet365 Gold Cup in two weeks' time after getting no further than the first fence in the National, when he was brought down when Perfect Candidate fell.
"It was very frustrating and very sad but it's what happens," said trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. "We laid him out all year, then that happens. It's a great shame.
"He won't go to Ayr on Saturday, he's more likely to run the week after. He had a bit of a bang on the head when he fell. Subject to him being all right he'll probably go to Sandown."
Twiston-Davies said The New One would not run again this season after he was pulled up in the Aintree Hurdle.
"He came back a bit sore on his feet but nothing serious," he said. "He'll have a nice summer at grass and will be back as good as ever."
The Last Samuri, who became upset in the pre-race preliminaries, was given a clean bill of health on Sunday. He was well behind in the National when pulled up before five out.
Trainer Kim Bailey said: "It's extraordinary because he was absolutely fine walking round the pre-parade ring, but then got very hot and started to break out in sweat. We got him back up to the top paddock and within a few minutes he was fine again.
"The vets looked at him. His heart was normal. It was almost like claustrophobia. I don't know whether it affected his performance. I'd definitely start thinking about keeping him in the pre-parade ring if I could do in future. At the Becher Chase everything is fine because there's nobody there."
The National produced a Trifecta dividend of £68,670 – which was part-won – just below the record £69,606 for the 2012 National won by Neptune Collonges, when, coincidentally, there was also a photo-finish.
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