Walsh to miss rest of meeting after heavy fall in Neptune
A week that promised so much for Mark Walsh has ended in heartache after he suffered a concussion and a leg fracture following a heavy fall from Consul De Thaix in the Neptune Novices' Hurdle.
Walsh was taken to Gloucester Royal Hospital for assessment, and the Turf Club's chief medical officer Dr Adrian McGoldrick confirmed that his quest for a first festival winner will have to wait another year.
He said on Wednesday evening: “Mark was concussed and he has also suffered a fracture to his fibula. He has a nasty gash and is quite sore, and he’ll be out of action for between three and six weeks.”
Walsh was one of the main beneficiaries when JP McManus's retained rider Barry Geraghty was sidelined following a fall from Charli Parcs at Kempton on February 25.
However, Yanworth failed to fire when sent off favourite for Tuesday's Stan James Champion Hurdle, and then Jer's Girl crashed out three from home while still in contention in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle.
Consul De Thaix was Walsh's third ride of the meeting, and Nicky Henderson's promising five-year-old was fatally injured when falling at the fifth flight in the opener on day two.
In a nasty incident, Walsh also got kicked by following runners who could not avoid him and he was subsequently replaced on the remainder of his booked rides, the best of which turned out to be Cantlow, who finished third in the cross-country chase.
Walsh's absence means there are a few changes to jockey bookings for the big races taking place on Thursday and Friday. Robbie Power will now replace Walsh on Jezki in the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle, while Wayne Hutchinson takes the ride on Uxizandre in the Ryanair Chase.
Walsh was due to be on More Of That, a best-priced 14-1, in Friday's Timico Gold Cup, but Jonjo O'Neill's nine-year-old will now be ridden by either Noel Fehily or Aidan Coleman with the booking of that horse and stablemate Minella Rocco to be split between the pair.