Ruby Walsh: was booked for five rides at Aintree on Saturday
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
RUBY WALSH experienced more Grand National heartache on Friday when suffering a wrist injury, which will rule the rider out of the world’s most famous jumps race for the fourth time in seven years.
Walsh took a tumble when hot favourite Vautour fell in the Melling Chase at Aintree on Friday, but picked himself up to partner Blood Cotil in the Topham.
However, after the seven-year-old fell at the 15th Walsh missed his two remaining rides.
He was expected to be fit to partner Sir Des Champs in the £1 million Crabbie’s Grand National on Saturday, but news – broken by the Racing Post on Twitter – emerged on Friday night he had suffered a hairline fracture to a wrist, so he will watch the action unfold from the sidelines.
Nina Carberry will take his place in the National on the Willie Mullins-trained Sir Des Champs, who is a general 25-1 chance, while Paul Townend steps in for the choice rides on Cheltenham Festival winners Douvan and Yorkhill.
Walsh, a National winner on Papillon in 2000 and on Hedgehunter five years later, has not enjoyed the best of luck in the race recently.
Falls in the Aintree Hurdle meant he missed the 2010 and 2012 renewals, while a broken arm suffered at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 ruled him out of that year’s National.
He fell from On His Own in 2013 and was brought down on Ballycasey a year ago, but punters still wanted him on their side and Sir Des Champs had his odds trimmed following the news Walsh was booked to ride.
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