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Sidelined Russell uncertain to be fit for Galway festival.

Byline: Jessica Lamb

DAVY RUSSELL, who took a heavy fall at Listowel last Saturday, faces a fight against time to be fit for the Galway festival at the end of July, writes Jessica Lamb.

Russell was riding the Charles Byrnes-trained 7-4 favourite Napa Starr in the opening maiden hurdle when the free-running six-year-old clipped the top of the third flight and somersaulted, hitting his jockey several times.

He was taken to Tralee Hospital for x-rays on his left ankle, while also complaining of pain higher up, but they proved inconclusive and the jockey did not learn his fate until seeing a specialist on Wednesday.

"There's one fracture in the ankle and the specialist put a cast on," said Russell yesterday.

"I'm grand, but I will be out for six to eight weeks."

The Galway festival begins in just over six weeks on July 26, leaving Russell little time to recover.

He said: "It's not certain either way. We'll see how it improves in the next few weeks."

Russell has yet to win the Galway Plate, but landed the Galway Hurdle three years ago on Farmer Brown.

Champion jockey Ruby Walsh, who is recovering from a broken arm he sustained in April, is likely to be back in time for the Galway festival.

Walsh, who won the Galway Plate on Oslot in 2008, said: "There's not a bother on me at the moment. You never enjoy not riding, but I'm fine and the doctor was happy enough with the arm yesterday.

"I'll go back to see him in another three weeks and go from there. I don't know when I'll be back riding, but the plan is Galway."

Walsh fractured his left arm in two places in a fall from Celestial Halo in the Aintree Hurdle, causing him to miss his John Smith's Grand National ride on Big Fella Thanks and the Punchestown festival.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2010
Words:313
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