Balthazar King expected to return to racing

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  • Popular racehorse Balthazar King, who took a heavy fall in this year’s Grand National in April, is looking set for a racecourse comeback according to his trainer Philip Hobbs.

    The 11-year-old has made a remarkable recovery since breaking his ribs in the fall at the Canal Turn while being ridden by Richard Johnson.

    An update from the Somerset-based trainer confirmed he, along with the horse’s connections, are hopeful the gelding by King’s Theatre will be back on the racecourse in 2016. Philip said Balthazar King looks to be feeling well in himself.

    “He went to Liphook equine hospital last week and they were very happy with how the fractures have healed,” said Philip. “We are still waiting for a full report back from them but they said, provided all went okay from now on, there is no reason why he won’t make it back into training.

    “He has been out in the field at his owner’s home in Hampshire and will remain there until December, when he’ll hopefully come back into training, with Cheltenham Festival in March in mind,” he added.

    Following the fall at Aintree, Balthazar King was treated on the course for almost an hour before being taken to the University of Liverpool’s equine hospital in Leahurst.

    He started off 17-2 in the race won by Many Clouds and Leighton Aspell. Having finished second in the 2014 running, he had been saved for this year’s big race — bypassing the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.

    At the time his jockey Richard, who was bruised in the fall, said: “He’s always been very bold and brave at jumping, maybe he was a little too bold. It was a nasty fall but then Ballycasey [ridden by Ruby Walsh] bowled into him too, so it’s hard to know what caused the injury.”

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