Loughnane hoping for swift return from thumb injury

Billy Loughnane says he will be “pushing to be back as soon as I can” after a thumb injury suffered at Nottingham has left him facing a spell on the sidelines.

The 17-year-old has established himself as one of the rising stars of the weighing room since bursting onto the scene over the winter and is bearing down quickly on a century of winners having continued to have success throughout the summer.

However, his quest for three figures has been halted following the injury sustained in a stalls incident aboard the Ed Dunlop-trained Lucidity on Friday night and although Loughnane is unsure how long he will be out of action, he is keen for a quick return.

He said: “I will be pushing to be back as soon as I can.

“I’m taking it day by day and I’ll be back as soon as I can. It’s obviously frustrating and hard at the minute, watching the horses you could have been on run, but I have had over 500 rides now and been lucky not to pick anything up so far.

“It’s annoying, the timing of it, but it’s just one of those things.”

Upon his return, Loughnane could represent Ireland in the Racing League where his 3lb claim could be a vital asset for Kevin Blake’s team as they bid to climb the table after two years rooted to the bottom of the standings.

Despite his injury, Loughnane is still 14-1 joint favourite with William Hill to be the competition’s top jockey.

He added: “I am looking forward to it, to be part of the Racing League is great. Hopefully I’ll be there for a few of the meetings.

“I was born in Ireland and class myself as Irish, so I’m looking forward to representing Ireland.

“Hopefully it can boost me a little bit and give me the chance to ride for a few different trainers and get myself to the next level a little bit. It’s hopefully going to be a good place to build contacts and there’s great prize-money as well.

“Fingers crossed, I get a bit of luck and can ride a couple of winners.”

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