Friday 20 July 2018

Confirmed: Ruby Walsh to miss remainder of the Cheltenham Festival after aggravating leg injury

Ruby Walsh. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Ruby Walsh. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Ruby Walsh will miss the remainder of the Cheltenham Festival after aggravating the broken leg injury which had kept him on the sidelines for the previous four months.

The winning-most jockey in Festival history was hurt when he parted company with Al Boum Photo at the penultimate fence in the second race of the day, the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase.

He was taken to Gloucester Royal Hospital for X-rays and further assessment.

The 38-year-old rider only returned to competitive action last Thursday, after suffering his original injury at Punchestown on November 18.

A statement issued by his sister and agent, Jennifer, said: "Unfortunately he has aggravated a recent leg injury and will see his consultant in Dublin next week for further assessment."

The 38-year-old, who only just returned to racing last week from a broken leg sustained in November, suffered a fall from Al Boum Photo at the second last fence in the RSA Novice Chase and Patrick Mullins took over on Douvan in the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday afternoon.

Willie Mullins, who trains Douvan, said: "Itvery disappointing for Ruby and for everyone. It’s the same place and it looked like it could be the fracture reopened. But you hear all that sometimes and then five hours later you find out the x-rays are clear but he’s very, very sore right on the same spot. He just couldn’t get his leg out on time and the horse rolled over on him."

Speaking from the parade ring, Douvan owner Rich Ricci said: "It is unfortunate for Ruby and he is very much in our thoughts. We hope he is okay but it looks like a suspected broken leg."

"I spoke to Ruby Walsh's dad Ted and he said he's gone for an x-ray. When Ruby goes for an x-ray, it's not good," Tony McCoy added on ITV.

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