Steve Pateman to miss Grand National

Leading jumps jockey Steve Pateman has come up short in his bid to be fit for Grand National Hurdle day. Photo:

Leading jumps jockey Steve Pateman has come up short in his bid to be fit for Grand National Hurdle day at Sandown.

Pateman was hoping to be back for Sunday’s meeting which also features the Crisp Steeplechase and the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes abandoned on Saturday at Caulfield because of high winds.

A dual jockey/trainer licence holder, Pateman hasn’t ridden in a race since early June after suffering a broken leg when he was kicked by a horse on his property at Barwon Heads.

While back doing some light riding, Pateman says muscle wastage means he won’t be fit enough to ride on Sunday.

He hopes to make his return at the all jumps meeting, which includes the Grand National Steeplechase, at Ballarat on August 20.

Pateman said his legs were building up rapidly but he would not do anyone any justice if he rode on Sunday.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Pateman said.

“It’s the first time I’ve missed any racing really in my whole career, so it could be worse I guess.

“It was an ambitious goal to be back for the National but once I got back on a horse I knew I wouldn’t be doing anyone any favours.

“The surgeon is really happy with the leg but with the muscle wastage, it feels like I’m riding with one leg.”

While sidelined with injury Pateman has been building the training side of his business and is enjoying that side of his career.

Pateman won’t feature with a runner on Sunday, concentrating on the midweek meeting at Sale where he will have five starters.

He did consider running Unabashed in the Crisp Steeplechase but instead he will be one of four runners for the stable in a steeplechase at Sale.

“I toyed with running Unabashed in the Crisp but under the set weights and penalties it would be too hard,” Pateman said.

“So we’ll run him at Sale and we’re excited to have five runners over jumps on Wednesday, four in the steeple and one in a maiden hurdle.

“I’m grateful that I’ve been able to train and concentrate on that during my lay-off.

“I’m loving it and building a nice team and we’ve got some good staff behind us.”

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