'She was very,very lucky' - Joseph O'Brien issues positive update on stricken sister Ana
Joseph O'Brien reported his sister Ana in "great form" on Thursday after the fall at Killarney earlier this week that left her with multiple fractures.
O'Brien trained Druids Cross, whom his sister was riding when her mount suffered a fatal fall that threw the 21-year-old to the ground.
She was airlifted to Cork University Hospital, where examinations revealed she had fractured the CI vertebra in her neck and T6 in her back, as well as fractured cheek bones bilaterally.
"She's in great form, thank God, and has been very, very lucky. Everyone that helped her here - the Order Of Malta and the doctors - you can't articulate your gratitude enough," said the former champion jockey.
"My television was broken, but I was listening to the race and knew fairly quickly that it was a bad fall so jumped in the car and headed for Killarney as hard as I could, but obviously met them in Cork and she's just very lucky."
O'Brien was speaking after Le Richebourg had given him a winner in the Killarney Welcomes Bordeaux Novice Hurdle.
Sent off the 8-13 favourite, the JP McManus-owned four-year-old had six and a half lengths to spare over Timi Roli in the Hurricane Fly colours, as the useful bumper performer made it two wins from as many starts over hurdles.
O'Brien said: "It was a good performance. They went very slow and sprinted down over the last three and it was nice to see him win. He was long at the third-last and got a bit close to the second-last, but was good at the last and on the whole he jumps well.
"Jody (McGarvey) said he came back on the bridle very quick after his mistake at the second-last and he is a nice horse who can progress.
"I'd hope he'll run during the winter as it was good and soft when he ran twice in bumpers and his bumper form is top class. He wouldn't run on any ground better than today and we'll try and mind him."