DOUBLE BREAK AT AINTREE HAS RULED ME OUT FOR REMAINDER OF SEASON
It’s bad news, unfortunately. I was hurt after Peregrine Run fell in the Topham Chase earlier today and it has been confirmed that I have broken both my tibia and fibula just above my right ankle.
I haven’t seen a replay of the fall yet, but by the sounds of it, it might have been a kick off a horse that ran over the top of me after the fall that did the damage.
It’s a real sickener to miss tomorrow as the Grand National is the race I look forward to more than any other, but missing Fairyhouse and Punchestown too is just as sickening.
In terms of when I’ll be back, it’s too early to say. It’s probably going to need surgery to straighten it. It’s a weight-bearing bone and it took me nearly four months to come back when I broke my shin on the other leg a few years ago. I’d only be guessing at this stage, but I’ll probably be at least 10 to 12 weeks on the side lines.
It’s tough to stomach, but we all know it comes with the territory.
For the second year in a row I would have been riding the Tony Martin-trained ANIBALE FLY (5.15). He ran a great race to finish fourth in the race last year and he has top weight to shoulder this season.
While the rain that has fallen would suit him on any other day, it will make it that bit more difficult for him to carry the weight.
Looking back on his performance in it last year, I came away thinking that a tough race in the Gold Cup maybe just took its toll in the closing stages. He obviously ran in the same race this season, but I’m hoping that the fact he didn’t have as many runs prior to it this season will be help to him in bouncing back to top form after it.
All anyone can hope for is the rub of the green on the way around and if he gets that, Anibale Fly’s form suggests he can run another big race. I'll be cheering him on.
Before that I would have been teaming up with an old friend in the shape of the Harry Fry-trained UNOWHATIMEANHARRY in the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle (3.40).
He was very good at Newbury earlier in the season, but then he fell at Ascot and burst a blood vessel when disappointing at Cheltenham back in January. If he could bounce back to his Newbury form, he’d have a chance of getting in the mix, but it’s a big ask for him to do that.
I was scheduled to ride the Jonjo O’Neill-trained FORZA MILAN in the Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (1.45). He won a handicap hurdle at Sandown on his first start since a breathing operation last time and hopefully he can build on that and go close back over this longer trip.
I rode Sire Du Berlais to win at the Cheltenham Festival last time, but with him having top-weight to shoulder, it’s understandable that the lads wanted to claim off him. I’m sure he’ll give Jonjo O’Neill Jnr a good spin around.