JP McManus’ retained rider had a scan yesterday morning as he looks to make his comeback after missing the Cheltenham Festival for the first time in his career.
He suffered a collapsed lung and six broken ribs in a fall from Charli Parcs in the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton on February 25.
He is keen to get back in the saddle to ride the likes of festival winners Defi Du Seuil and Buveur D’Air and Stayers’ Hurdle third Unowhatimeanharry at Aintree.
“Barry was having a scan this morning. We’ll have to get the scan report to see if he is fit enough to go,” said Dr Adrian McGoldrick, Irish Turf Club senior medical officer.
“That will be the end of this week or early next week,”
Fellow McManus rider Mark Walsh was due to see consultant orthopaedic surgeon Paddy Kenny to assess the progress on the left leg he fractured in a fall at Cheltenham when standing in for Geraghty.
Walsh was partnering the Nicky Henderson-trained Consul De Thaix in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle when the horse sustained a fatal fall at the sixth-last flight.
“We won’t get a report on Mark Walsh’s scan until Wednesday or Thursday,” said Dr McGoldrick.
“These things take 24 to 48 hours for the report to come through on it. The scan then has to go through for assessment. It normally takes about 48 hours.”
Meanwhile, Le Mercurey will sport the same colours as 1992 Grand National hero Party Politics when he lines up at Aintree on Saturday week after being snapped up by owner Patricia Thompson.
Thompson, who owns Cheveley Park Stud along with husband David, famously bought the Nick Gaselee-trained Party Politics just days before the Aintree spectacular and she will be targeting similar success with her Paul Nicholls-trained recruit.
Le Mercurey finished second to the ill-fated Many Clouds over regulation fences at Aintree back in December and also chased home Native River in the Denman Chase, before most recently finishing third in his prep outing at Kelso. Nicholls is now hoping the famous pink and purple silks of Thompson will bring similar luck to Party Politics.
Nicholls told his Betfair blog: “Mrs Thompson has been an owner here for some time and has done well with Boa Island this season.
“She was looking for a Grand National contender with solid form and Le Mercurey fits the bill.
“Mrs Thompson bought Party Politics a few days before he won the race in 1992 and I’m hoping she strikes lucky again.
“Le Mercurey has run really well several times this season including when narrowly beaten by Many Clouds at Aintree last December.
“He was ridden there by Sean Bowen who keeps the mount as Sam Twiston-Davies has chosen another of mine, Saphir Du Rheu, who finished a close fifth in the Gold Cup earlier this month.”
Nicholls also has Wonderful Charm, Just A Par and Vicente in the National frame, and added: “All five of my National entries are in great form at home and they will all be suited by goodish ground on the day.”
in other Aintree news.Fred Winter winner Flying Tiger is likely to step up to Grade One company next week.
The juvenile was overlooked by Lizzie Kelly in favour of stable companion Diable De Sivola, but he could only finish fifth.
Flying Tiger is now likely to meet impressive Triumph Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil in the 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle on Thursday week.
“Flying Tiger will probably go for the juvenile hurdle at Aintree, I guess,” said trainer Nick Williams.
“I’d imagine the course would even suit him better than Cheltenham.
“The handicapper did a very good job at Cheltenham as there were three horses in line jumping the last.
“He’s been put up 7lb for winning and he’s now got a rating that wouldn’t have seen him out of place in the Triumph.”
Williams was not so fortunate with Tea For Two, who unseated Kelly at the second fence of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
“It was unfortunate what happened to him, but there you go,” he said.
“I think the plan is to take him to Aintree for the Bowl.”