Russell reported to have broken leg in Listowel fall

A day to forget for Davy Russell ended in drama as the star jockey was taken to Tralee General Hospital after suffering a bad fall at Listowel on Thursday.

A day to forget for Davy Russell ended in drama as the star jockey was taken to Tralee General Hospital after suffering a bad fall at Listowel on Thursday.

Russell was reported to have broken his leg when Mister Two Fifty crashed out in the Kevin McManus Beginners Chase.

In an ironic twist, Russell failed a breath test upon his arrival at the track - but was given clearance to ride after a second test proved negative.

Russell, who has not had a drink for 15 years, was randomly tested and recorded a level twice the allowed amount, registering 75 micrograms of ethanol per 100 millimetres of breath. The limit is 35.

The jockey claimed that using mouthwash after brushing his teeth caused him to fail the test but as he arrived at the track early he was able to take a successful second test.

“I don’t drink, the last time I had a drink was 15 years ago and that was the only time – I have no interest in drink.” said Russell.

“Fortunately because I’d arrived here early they allowed me take a second test, half an hour after the first one, and that proved negative.

“It has to bring into question the whole system of breath-testing jockeys. So if I’d been a bit later to the track I wouldn’t have been allowed to ride because if you fail within half an hour of your ride you can’t ride.”

To compound the misery, Lough Ferrib, Russell’s intended mount in the Devon Inn Hotel Handicap Hurdle, won the three-mile affair under substitute Davy Condon.

St Devote, meanwhile, benefited from the final-flight fall of Slieveardagh to win the Guinness Handicap.

Eoin Griffin’s five-year-old had been second at Galway on his last outing but was given a confident ride by Barry Geraghty, who was on board despite having broken his nose a day earlier.

Edward O’Grady’s 9-4 favourite Slieveardagh was still in contention at the last but took a crashing fall, leaving the 5-1 shot to come home three lengths clear of Star Wood.

“It’s great to get it and I’m delighted with him. We think a fair bit of him at home. When the rain came he had his chance,” said Griffin.

“He’ll have a break now and we’ll find something for him in Cheltenham in November when some of the owners will hopefully be able to come. He’ll be a better chaser in time.”

Hayley O’Connor, who works for Ladbrokes as a PR representative, saw her colours carried to victory by Genesi in the FBD Insurance Handicap.

The 12-1 winner is trained for O’Connor by Joanna Morgan.

“I’m absolutely delighted, I couldn’t be happier. Fair play to Joanna and her daughter Katie as she has been a tough filly to train,” said O’Connor.

“I told everyone to back her and luckily everyone got on (16-1 into 12s).”

Jim Bolger’s Rock Medley (9-2) won the TP Walsh Memorial Handicap in the hands of Kevin Manning, while Dermot Weld’s Duc De Savoie (11-8 favourite) won the opening Helena Sheahan Memorial Maiden after finishing third in the corresponding race 12 months ago.

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