Jockeys' Association to ask for break after Aintree

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport
Jockey Mania receives hero's welcome

The Professional Jockeys' Association wants a break in jump racing the day after the 2014 Grand National.

Chief executive Paul Struthers says the move would help all of the jockeys involved in the Aintree meeting.

But he stressed it is not as a direct result of Ryan Mania's fall at Hexham on Sunday, less than 24 hours after his Grand National win.

"You can't force a jockey not to ride the next day," he told BBC Sport.

"But this move would give all of the jockeys involved in the Grand National a break and allow the winning jockey to enjoy the experience and take part in the various media activities around the win."

The 2014 fixtures list is being worked on and there are two jumps meetings provisionally scheduled to be held on the Sunday after the Grand National.

Struthers says the PJA Board will ask the British Horseracing Authority for those meetings to be changed to flat cards.

Mania, 23, is hoping to return to racing next week after suffering minor neck and back injuries in the fall the day after he won Saturday's National on 66-1 shot Auroras Encore.

He spent two nights in hospital but hopes to be fit to ride in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday, 20 April.

However he will need to be cleared to race by the BHA's chief medical adviser Dr Michael Turner.

Mania suffered a small fracture on the bottom of his neck along with ligament and soft-tissue damage.

"I feel a bit tired and sore but apart from that I'm OK. It's nothing serious," he said after his release from hospital in Newcastle.

"I spoke to the neurologist at the hospital and he was happy for me to be race-riding next week, but it all comes down to the medical officer. I certainly think I could ride.

"Obviously there are a lot of factors and it's not until next week, so there'll be no decision made until nearer the time."

After his release from hospital, Mania returned to his home in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, where a homecoming parade had been organised.

"There's no words to describe how that felt," said Mania. "Winning the National was great but the welcome I got was just incredible.

"It was a miserable night but there were thousands of people there to support me."

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