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Career in balance for 2017 Grand National winner One For Arthur

One For Arthur connections will be seeking answers to questions which have been raised by the runner’s disappointing showing in the Unibet Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday afternoon, the 2017 National winner being pulled up in the race. The signs are that he has made a quick recovery from a heart fibrillation, however the need is there for more thorough investigations.

Peter Scudamore, partner to trainer Lucinda Russell, said: “He’s fine, you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with him. Luce has listened to his heart now and she thinks it’s fine.

“We’ve had this with other horses, it’s not a unique case. Big River had it at Haydock [in November 2017] and then he was running at Warwick two weeks into January. But that’s the best scenario. In the worst case scenario, he would need treatment to push his heart back into its rhythm.”

Russell’s horses have been the subjects for an equine cardiology study by Edinburgh University Veterinary school and as such, baseline heart ECGs for One For Arthur were taken long before the weekend issues. The runner will return to the Scottish capital for more scans with the hope being that the situation has rectified itself without the need for any further action.

Scudamore continued: “I don’t know what the outcome of this is. Obviously, there was a lot of emotion at Haydock. What I feel is we should sit down with the facts when the vets have looked and make a decision when the emotion is out of it at the end of the week.

“I suggest what’ll happen is, we’ll make a decision and if he’s right, he’ll have to go and have a racecourse gallop somewhere and make sure that he’s right. Then he can run [in the National in April]. If he’s still wrong at the end of the week, that’s probably the end of his career. But let’s see what happens when we take the emotion out of it.”

It came as a relief for connections of One For Arthur that a reason for the disappointing performance at Haydock was immediately apparent. Nevertheless while he may yet run another big race, an appearance at the 2020 Randox Health Grand National hinges on the outcome of his tests this week.