Lynch shrugs off injury worries

Andrew Lynch expects to be fit for the Cheltenham Festival – despite being stood down at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Lynch sustained an arm injury at Navan on Saturday and was still in some pain 24 hours later when signing off after just one ride at the Dublin circuit.

The Irish jockey has some huge rides at Cheltenham next week, including Sizing Europe in the Champion Chase and Rubi Light in the Ryanair Chase, but does not anticipate any fitness concerns.

He said: “It (the arm) is grand, thankfully, and I’ll be OK. My arm just got a bit choked up when I pulled up (at Leopardstown), so I thought I’d better take it steady.

“It’s such an important time of the year and you can’t take any risks.

“Hopefully we’ll be fine for Cheltenham.”

Meanwhile, leading Irish amateur jockey Jamie Codd has failed in his race to be fit for the Festival.

Codd has, over the years, been a dependable go-to man for British trainers keen to utilise his skills – as evidenced by his two victories in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase aboard Character Building and Junior.

But despite having recovered from a broken femur sustained in October, a recent point-to-point fall means he must miss out next week.

Codd said: “I was only back a week, but I had a fall at Knockanard point-to-point on February 12.

“Although I rested it for a week, I still had some damage in my back and lost a bit of power in my leg.

“It’s a shame as I’d be fit in a couple more weeks, but I’ve ran out of time.

Experienced amateur rider JT McNamara will partner Teaforthree in the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Chase next Wednesday.

McNamara is three times a winner at the Cheltenham Festival and again appears to hold leading claims in the four-mile contest for amateurs.

Trainer Rebecca Curtis said: “JT’s never ridden for me before, but he’s a very good jockey and is very experienced around Cheltenham.

Despite having been pulled up in the Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day, Teaforthree has won two of his last three races in the style of a hardy stayer.

“AP (McCoy) looked after him very well at Chepstow last time and didn’t give him too hard a race, what with Cheltenham in mind.

Newport-based Curtis added: “The four-miler looks an ideal race for him as we think he stays that trip very well.”


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