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Berry facing lay-off after ankle break

FRAN Berry will have to remain in hospital in Japan for another week after breaking his ankle.

The Irish jockey suffered the injury in an incident on the way to the start for a race in Tokyo on November 13.

"He's fractured his ankle. He's got it plastered and we'll have to see how it goes," said Berry's agent, Ciaran O'Toole. "I think he's got to stay over in Japan for another week or so.

"He rode a winner or two on the day and his ride in one of the later races jinked going down to the start and he got his ankle stuck in the stirrups."

Rare Bob will attempt to give Dessie Hughes his third winner of the Betfred Becher Chase in four years at Aintree on Saturday.

The Co Kildare trainer sent out Black Apalachi (2008) and Vic Venturi (2009) to win this handicap chase over the mighty Grand National fences, and expects Rare Bob to take to them.

"I'm looking forward to going over to Liverpool with Rare Bob. He travels over this evening, jockey arrangements haven't been finalised yet, but I'm sure we'll be able to get a decent jockey for him," Hughes said.

"It doesn't matter to him if it rains or not. He goes on good ground.

"I think he might like the Aintree course. He's a good jumper, he likes a bit of a trip, three mile and two. The fences might be a bit of a challenge to him, so he might take to them.

"I wasn't very pleased with him in Down Royal (in the JNwine.com Champion Chase). He never got hold of his bridle and really raced.

"I intended putting blinkers or cheekpieces on the next time he ran because he had them on before when he won, but I don't think he needs them for Liverpool.

"He has plenty of weight to carry but I'd be hopeful of a good run."

Stuart Crawford is looking to have Killyglen primed for a second crack at the John Smith's Grand National.

The nine-year-old was in the process of running a big race when he fell at the fourth-last fence in the Aintree showpiece in April.

The Co Antrim trainer was delighted with his run at Haydock recently when he was third to Cappa Bleu and plans to give the horse two more runs before the National.

"He ran well at Haydock and we'll probably give him a bit of a break now until the New Year and we'll pick a couple of chases for him and then hopefully go to Aintree," said Crawford.

"We were very hopeful of him running a big race last year and he did. It was just disappointing after he jumped so well up to when he departed. It was such a shame he didn't finish it. "With a bit of luck and with the experience behind him from last season he should be all the better for it."


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