Sunday 17 November 2019

O'Brien out for four months, Walsh at least one

Racing woke to a feeling of relief yesterday that Ana O’Brien had escaped paralysis in a horror fall on Tuesday evening at Killarney. Photo: Getty Images
Racing woke to a feeling of relief yesterday that Ana O’Brien had escaped paralysis in a horror fall on Tuesday evening at Killarney. Photo: Getty Images

Johnny Ward

Racing woke to a feeling of relief yesterday that Ana O'Brien had escaped paralysis in a horror fall on Tuesday evening at Killarney.

The leading apprentice, 21, was treated at the track for some time after Druids Cross - which had to be put down - hit the floor in a Flat race over an extended mile.

There was a delay t0 racing, with the 6.20 race going off at 8.04, as the jockey - a daughter of legendary trainer Aidan - was airlifted to Cork University Hospital.

Later, Turf Club senior medical officer Adrian McGoldrick revealed she had escaped life-changing injury; that she had a fractured C1 vertebra in her neck and T6 in her back. Joseph O'Brien later revealed that she also suffered a fracture at T5.

This necessitated an MRI scan yesterday, the results of which delighted McGoldrick: "She has had her MRI scans and Professor Paul Redmond, the head of department at Cork University Hospital, has looked at them and confirmed that she does not need surgery.

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"They will continue to review her facial injuries. She now needs rest, and I will continue to assess her. She faces around four months out."

Asked if O'Brien would resume riding on recovery, McGoldrick said: "That's not even being discussed, and it's probably the last thing on people's minds, everyone is just so relieved. She is an amazing young woman."

Meanwhile, Mark Walsh will miss Galway and return in around a month's time, after surgery on his cheekbone on Tuesday. He was discharged yesterday morning and McGoldrick says: "will be out for four to six weeks".

Walsh's mount Itsallhappening fell in a hurdle race at Tipperary earlier this month, the latest in a frustrating series of injuries over the year. Another of JP McManus's jockeys, his number one Barry Geraghty, has also had a luckless run but he will be back post-injury for Ballybrit, as will the recently-injured Robbie Power.

Elsewhere, Henry Candy is leaning towards sending Limato to France for next month's Prix Maurice de Gheest, which may entail a renewal of his July Cup rivalry with Caravaggio. Aidan O'Brien's runner lost his unbeaten record in that Newmarket outing, while Limato was second to Harry Angel.

Matthieu Palussiere's Royal Ascot heroine Different League will bid to maintain her unbeaten record in the Prix Morny at Deauville next month. The two-year-old took her form to a new level when beating Alpha Centauri in the Albany Stakes.

Irish Independent

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