Sunday 23 October 2016

Jason Maguire back in the saddle

Jason sets September as his target following back surgery

Jason Maguire
Jason Maguire

Jason Maguire is eyeing a return to competitive action in September after riding out for the first time since a fall earlier this year.

The Grand National-winning jockey underwent surgery on slipped discs in April after a February spill at Musselburgh, less than a year after recovering from life-threatening injuries following a fall at Stratford on the eve of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

Maguire was delighted to be back riding work for trainers Donald McCain, Kim Bailey and Jonjo O'Neill yesterday morning, marking a crucial step in his comeback.

Maguire said: "Everything went grand, 100 per cent.

"I've been riding out a small bit at home already, but it was my first morning back riding racehorses and it felt good.

"I rode out for Kim Bailey, Donald and in Jackdaws (Castle) for Jonjo.

"It's good to get back in the swing of things and now it's just about getting as fit as I can.

"There's a bit of work to do yet, but it's a step in the right direction and I suppose I'm looking at getting back racing in September time."

Meanwhile, Richard Hughes might be retiring at the end of Glorious Goodwood but that thought could not be further away from Frankie Dettori's mind as he racked up another Group-race success in the Qatar Vintage Stakes on Galileo Gold.

Having won the Derby, the Eclipse, the French Oaks and the Diamond Jubilee already this season, the Italian is enjoying a real Indian summer to his career.

This success will have meant more than most, though, as the Hugo Palmer-trained juvenile was running in the Al Shaqab silks of Dettori's boss, Sheikh Joaan, for the first time.


Drawn widest of all, Dettori bided his time until a gap appeared and the Paco Boy colt quickened smartly to beat Ibn Malik by three-quarters of a length, earning a general quote of 33-1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas.

"I got a good run through on the inside, he was very brave and quickened up very well," said Dettori after the 9-2 success.

"It's the first runner of the meeting for us (Al Shaqab Racing), we've started off with a winner and my boss (Sheikh Joaan) is here."

The owner's racing manager, Harry Herbert, said: "It's so exciting. Sheikh Joaan has just arrived to see the race and see Goodwood in all its glory. He is sponsoring the meeting this year, it's a dream start.

"I'm thrilled, too, for Hugo, who is on his honeymoon and can't be here. I've just spoken to him and he's watching from the beach in Turkey."

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