Setback for Mullins as surgery rules him out for rest of season
Danny Mullins received the worst possible news yesterday when it was confirmed the jockey will miss the rest of the season in the wake of having to undergo surgery on the kneecap he damaged in a fall at Newbury.
The young rider will have an operation today which will keep him out of action for about 12 weeks. He fractured his kneecap in a fall from Dicosimo at the fourth flight in the Betfair Handicap Hurdle.
Mullins was taken to hospital for a precautionary X-ray, before flying home and going to see leading sports surgeon Dr Tadhg O'Sullivan, who will perform the operation at Whitfield Clinic in Waterford.
"He's having an operation on his kneecap tomorrow morning and will be out for 12 weeks. It's bad news," said Mullins' agent, Ken Whelan. "He saw the specialist who told him there was only one solution to it - he'd have to have an operation.
"It's 10 weeks to Punchestown, so it means he's going to miss the rest of the season."
Meanwhile, Dual King George VI Chase winner Silviniaco Conti is the headline name among 10 remaining possibles for Saturday's Betfair Ascot Chase.
Paul Nicholls has tinkered with the 10-year-old's programme this season after he had no answer to Cue Card at Haydock and was pulled up in the King George. He has not been entered for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Nicholls could also run Vibrato Valtat while Nicky Henderson has possibles in Triolo D'Alene, which returned to winning ways last time out, and the mare Ma Filleule. The sole Irish-trained possible is the rejuvenated Flemenstar for Anthony Curran, which landed a Grade One event at Leopardstown over Christmas.
David Pipe's Dynaste will be looking to return to something like his best, with Irish Cavalier needing to bounce back, too. Dan Skelton's Savello, Johnny Farrelly's novice Amore Alato and the Philip Hobbs-trained Royal Regatta complete the 10.