down cross

Laurens rider PJ McDonald sidelined following double fracture in freak accident

PJ McDonald: has fractured his left ankle and right heel
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PJ McDonald, best known as the rider of star filly Laurens, is facing a lengthy period on the sidelines after suffering two fractures in an incident in the Newcastle paddock on Monday.

McDonald, who had just landed the previous race on Hard Taskmaster, was injured in a freak accident as his intended mount, Westward Ho, threw him off.

He has teamed up with the Karl Burke-trained Laurens to win the Fillies' Mile, Prix Saint-Alary and Prix de Diane in the last year, but will now, at the very least, miss her intended run in the Coolmore Matron Stakes on Saturday week.

McDonald said on Tuesday: "I'm not entirely sure what happened – the horse went down first then reared up and I fell quite heavily. I've fractured my left ankle and my right heel, so it's a fair combination of injuries."

PJ McDonald with trainer Karl Burke (left) and owner John Dance after Laurens' victory in the Prix de Diane

Asked about a potential time frame for his return to action, the jockey added: "I'd only be speculating and I'm going back for more x-rays in two weeks. I'll know more then. The problem I have is that I have no good leg at the moment, I need both to heal before I can start working my way back so I just have to wait it out."

The injury comes at a particularly cruel time for McDonald. As well as the big upcoming autumn meetings, Hard Taskmaster had been his 100th winner of the season, bringing up his second century and keeping him on course to better last year's total of 128 winners.

He said: "It just goes to show the ups and downs of this game. I rode a double at Newcastle last night, got my 100th winner of the year and an hour later I'm on a stretcher in hospital.

"It's one of those things and you have to take the rough with the smooth. I know there's a lot of people worse off and I just need to keep going and get myself back as soon as possible."

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I'm not entirely sure what happened – the horse went down first then reared up and I fell quite heavily
E.W. Terms
Sky bet