Ruby back in February
Ruby Walsh has resigned himself to being out of the saddle until February ahead of a routine check-up tomorrow on the double fracture of his right leg, WRITES DAMIEN McElroy.
"The visit to hospital is just to make sure there's no infection," he said at yesterday's Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) awards luncheon at Leopardstown. "The leg is coming along okay but it will be three months before I'm back."
Nevertheless, the eight-time champion jockey attracted support over the weekend to retain his title despite two lengthy spells on the sidelines this year, Ladbrokes halving his odds to 6/1, with former title-holder Paul Carberry eased slightly as favourite.
Carberry is now on offer at 11/10 (from 4/5) with Ruby's understudy in the Willie Mullins yard Paul Townend and perennial runner-up Davy Russell next best at 11/4 and 7/2 respectively.
Carberry, Townend and Russell are all in action at tomorrow's now bumper Fairyhouse card as the Meath track passed a Turf Club inspection yesterday with the advance going soft, just hours after today's Punchestown fixture was called off due to a covering of snow.
The much-delayed John Durkan Memorial Chase has been switched from the Kildare venue to Fairyhouse along with the Hilly Way Chase from Cork at the weekend. This means that there will be eight races on tomorrow's card, now including four Grade One events. Admission is €10 .
HRI have also granted Punchestown another new date for Monday, December 20 when Cork's Lombardstown Mares Chase is being transferred to compensate somewhat for the loss of their Durkan Chase.