Ruby to miss Galway Festival

Ruby Walsh faces a long spell on the sidelines, following an operation on Monday to repair damaged ligaments in his shoulder.

Walsh dislocated the shoulder, and broke his right arm, when taking a crashing fall at the second flight aboard Abbyssial in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival in March.

It was thought he would then be absent for many months but, through extensive physiotherapy and sheer hard work, was able to return for the Punchestown festival at the end of April and into early May.

The nine times champion jockey knew, however, he was simply postponing the inevitable and was well aware that an operation would be necessary sooner rather than later.

Walsh, pictured, said: “I realised I was running the risk of dislocating my shoulder again and so had to have the operation to repair the ligaments.

“I wanted to come back for Punchestown, and then to ride in some big races in France, and have no regrets. That was the chance I took.

“I have no chance of being back in time for Galway (starts July 28). My arm will be in a sling for six weeks and then, I’d imagine, there will be another six weeks or so of rehabilitation.’ Walsh’s gamble to target Punchestown reaped a rich dividend. He ended the meeting as the leading rider with six winners, including high-profile successes on the exciting trio of Faugheen, Vautour and Annie Power.

He also landed the biggest prize of the five days, the €200,000 Grade 1 Punchestown Gold Cup, on Boston Bob.

In action at Auteuil last Sunday, where he was out of luck on both Abbyssial and Diakali, Walsh is now planning a return to race riding in the autumn.

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