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Testing day for unlucky Russell

Davy Russell and Barry Geraghty epitomised the turbulent careers of jump jockeys over the last couple of days with the good, the bad, the ugly and the simply strange.

Russell, a teetotaller, got to the races at Listowel yesterday and in undergoing a mandatory breath test he amazingly failed it, despite only ever sampling alcohol on one occasion some 15 years ago.

It turned out that the mouthwash Russell had used after brushing his teeth yesterday morning was the cause of him blowing over twice the allowed limit on his first test, but on a second attempt he blew clear and was then given the all clear to ride.


Naturally enough, that is going to question the Turf Club's method of breath testing jockeys, but that was not where Russell's dramatic day would come to a close.

When riding Mister Two Fifty in the Beginners Chase, Russell took a crashing fall and was taken to Tralee Hospital with suspected damage to the right side of his chest.

In total seven horses came to grief in the race, five of which were fallers, and it was later confirmed that Russell had in fact broken his right leg just below his knee, but in some consolation for the Youghal native, the injury will not require surgery, although will mean somewhere in the region of two months on the sidelines.

To make matters worse, Russell's mount in the later handicap hurdle, Lough Ferrib, for trainer John Hassett went on to win under a confident ride from the deputising Davy Condon.

Meanwhile, Barry Geraghty, who won the feature Kerry National at Listowel on Wednesday, rode yesterday with a broken nose that he received following a fall after his win on Alfa Beat.

Despite his injury, Geraghty went on to ride yesterday and with good reason as he obliged in the day's big race, the Grade C Guinness Handicap Hurdle.

Geraghty guided the Eoin Griffin-trained St Devote to a very impressive win in the race, keeping the horse's well-known owners happy.

St Devote is owned by a selection of Irish International soccer players -- Shay Given, John O'Shea, Stephen Hunt, Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne, Kevin Doyle, Daryl Murphy, Damien Duff and Kevin Kilbane.

However, after revealing his intent to not ride for a week or so to give his nose time to heal, Geraghty took up his one remaining ride on Gallery Man for Val O'Brien and he also crashed out at the sixth flight.

Jockey Danny Mullins was also in the wars yesterday, breaking his wrist from a fall from on his father Tony's Split Ear in the race won by Lough Ferrib, and he is likely to be ruled out of the rest of the Flat season.