Friday 23 February 2018

Kennedy set for return as Tylicki hails supporters

Jockey Jack Kennedy. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
Jockey Jack Kennedy. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE

Johnny Ward

Jack Kennedy's frustrating spell out injured is set to expire at the weekend when the rider envisages returning for the Morgiana Hurdle card at Punchestown.

Kennedy, 17, suffered a heavy fall in a juvenile hurdle at Thurles aboard the Gordon Elliott-trained Mega Fortune on October 20. He fractured his leg and, though he was expected to be out for up to six weeks, he is set to be back much quicker than that.

He said: "I've recovered well and have been riding out the past week or so. It feels 100pc and the plan is that I will be riding on Saturday at Punchestown." This is good news for Kennedy's boss Gordon Elliott, who is also boosted by Gigginstown's retained rider, Bryan Cooper, making his own comeback today. Davy Russell, another the stable uses regularly, remains suspended.

Sunday's feature event, expected to be run on soft ground, has the ingredients of a classic. The Willie Mullins-trained trio of Annie Power, Faugheen and Vroum Vroum Mag still feature among ten entries in the €85,000 Morgiana.

Mullins shows the arsenal that he has in this race as he can also pick from Ivan Grozny, Sempre Medici, Simenon and Nichols Canyon. He has attributed a slow start to the campaign to the unusually warm and dry weather.

The other possibles are four-year-olds Apple's Jade, Ivanovich Gorbatov and Jer's Girl, though Gordon Elliott says Apple's Jade will "probably not" run.

Given that the other two of these have already been beaten this season, the performance of Jer's Girl will be afforded particular significance, as doubts now reign about the strength of last season's juveniles.

The Florida Pearl Novice Chase, the Grade Two on the undercard, looks set to be a cracker, with Alpha Des Obeaux, Disko, Nambour and Lieutenant Colonel among the ten possibles.

Elliott, meanwhile, has 14 entries in a bid to win the Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase for the third year running at Navan on November 27.

Elsewhere, Freddy Tylicki has thanked those who have supported him since his life-changing Kempton fall last month at Kempton. The German-born rider was left paralysed in the lower half of his body and this is the first time he has spoken publicly since.

He tweeted: "Struggling and fighting! Thank you every single one for all the support! Here is to a long road in front of me! Much love everyone!"

Racing New South Wales in Australia, meanwhile, has launched an investigation into betting-related activity by leading rider James McDonald.

The New Zealander, 24, rode a double at Roscommon in 2010 and is first jockey to Godolphin trainer John O'Shea in Sydney. The investigation relates to a maiden last year when McDonald rode Astern to victory; it is alleged he had an interest in a bet on the horse placed by an associate.

Irish Independent

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