Tendon injury keeps Zanjabeel out of Grand National
Zanjabeel, the leading steeplechaser in North America, will miss Saturday’s Grade 1 American Grand National at Far Hills, N.J. with a tendon injury – leaving the race without its biggest name and causing trainer Ricky Hendriks to look for answers.
“They say everything happens for a reason, but I don’t know what the reason is yet,” Hendriks said Monday evening. “It’s a tough one to take. One of my dreams is to train an Eclipse Award winner and he was my best shot.”
Ever. The 5-year-old, owned by Rosbrian Farm and Meadow Run Farm, leads all North American jumpers in earnings this year with $265,500 and can still win an Eclipse though a Grand National win would have left no doubt. The English-bred son of Aussie Rules opened his 2018 campaign with back-to-back seconds in stakes company, then dominated the Grade 1 Iroquois in May going 3 miles. Put away for the summer, Zanjabeel prepped for the $450,000 Grand National with another Grade 1 win in the Lonesome Glory at Belmont Park Sept. 20 and has been training steadily since.
Friday, a Hendriks staffer noticed a tendon issue and a scan revealed a minor tear. The bay gelding will miss six months to a year.
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