Having sustained a shoulder injury at Doncaster last month, James Best was concerned that this might prevent him from maintaining a partnership with last year’s fourth-placed Walk In The Mill at the 2020 Grand National in eleven week’s time, however he has since received the welcome news that he will almost certainly be taking part in the big race at Aintree.
When Best found himself unseated whilst aboard Queen’s Magic in the Listed chase on 29th December, he thought initially that he may have broken or fractured his arm, however the diagnosis was that his shoulder was dislocated.
Indeed the good news is that an operation isn’t necessary and should the recovery go as planned, then he should be back in the saddle towards the end of February.
Nevertheless with Walk In The Mill a general joint-third favourite in the betting for the 2020 Randox Health Grand National at ante-post odds of 20/1 with most firms, the jockey won’t be rushing his return.
He said: “If I’d needed an operation I might have been off for four to six months, but when I went to Cardiff to see specialist Mr Geoff Graham, who has dealt with half of the Welsh rugby team as well as Christian Williams when he was riding, he said I didn’t need one.
“Mr Graham didn’t want to commit to any date for my return, but when I spoke to Dr Jerry Hill of the BHA and passed on what I had been told and what the scan had revealed, he said it might hopefully be six to eight weeks from the time it happened.
“Like any jockey I want to be back as quick as I can, and if it’s six or eight weeks that would be brilliant, but obviously I want to make sure I’m 100 per cent, as I’ve got Walk In The Mill to look forward to in the National.”