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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Ruby Walsh to miss Punchestown after failing to recover from leg injury

Ruby Walsh: out since the Cheltenham Festival
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Ruby Walsh will not return to action at next week's Punchestown festival, the jockey revealed on Friday.

Walsh has been out since the Cheltenham Festival, when he aggravated the tibia fracture he had just returned from when falling from Al Boum Photo in the RSA Chase on the Wednesday of the meeting.

The rider told "I went for an x-ray and, although the doctor was impressed by the bone growth and repair, I won’t be riding at the Punchestown festival.

"I had been going to the gym, but I kind of knew it was coming. I tested the water last week by taking off the boot and tried to walk on it, but it wasn't strong enough.

"It's hugely disappointing, but I'm looking forward to riding once again in the new season."

Having already been forced to sit out half of the Cheltenham Festival and then Aintree's Grand National meeting, Walsh will have to endure more frustration as Willie Mullins readies several of his big guns for a trainers' title showdown with Gordon Elliott.

"It's going to be fascinating and disappointing to watch in equal measure,” Walsh added. "There’s going to be Douvan, Un De Sceaux, Penhill, Faugheen, Stormy Ireland, Mr Adjudicator and many more. It will be particularly entertaining with Willie and Gordon fighting it out for the title."

Mullins said: "It's very disappointing that we won't have Ruby's services at Punchestown next week. It looks as if the festival is coming a week to ten days too soon for him.

"We're looking forward to having him back in action in the very near future. But we have a strong team of back-up riders at Closutton, led by Paul Townend, and they'll be kept busy during the festival."

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It's hugely disappointing, but I'm looking forward to riding once again in the new season

Key data

R Walsh
E.W. Terms
Sky bet