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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Cruel timing as Galway native Leigh Roche misses festival with broken collarbone

Leigh Roche suffered a broken collarbone in a fall at Down Royal on Friday night
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Jockey Leigh Roche will be on the sidelines for the race week closest to his heart following a fall at Down Royal on Friday night, which has left him with a broken collarbone that rules him out of the Galway festival.

The 26-year-old was partnering 33-1 shot Kodi Dream for trainer Adrian Keatley in the opening juvenile contest over five furlongs when he was unseated from his mount crossing the road just before the two-furlong marker, taking a heavy tumble.

Hailing from Tuam, County Galway - a little under 30 minutes away from Ballybrit - the rider closely associated with Dermot Weld will miss out on next week's seven-day extravaganza, with Roche describing the news as tough to take.

"It's very unfortunate," he said. "It could have been a whole lot worse but I had a great book of rides there next week and it's going to be a hard pill to swallow."

Roche explained of the incident: "The horse was on the road at the time and when he was coming back onto the grass he half second-guessed his step and reached for it, going out right. He dropped his shoulder and I went out to the left."

Leigh Roche crouches low in the saddle and pushes out Making Light to win the Group 3 Park Express Stakes at Naas in March

He added: "We were worried about my back initially last night but they've done x-rays on it since and thankfully it's grand. I got the all clear in that department, though it's sore at the moment."

The jockey, who has landed multiple valuable handicaps and Group prizes since riding his first winner at Navan in 2008 as a 16-year-old, visited the winner's enclosure 26 times last season and has already notched 18 winners this term.

Roche said of the timeframe for his expected return: "All being well I'd imagine I'll be out for roughly three weeks with it being a collarbone injury."

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It could have been a whole lot worse but I had a great book of rides there next week and it's going to be a hard pill to swallow

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Leigh Roche
E.W. Terms
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