Abandonment of Clonmel Races scuppers Ruby Walsh's comeback from injury

Eamonn Wynne

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Eamonn Wynne

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ewynne@nationalist.ie

Ruby Walsh

Injury-hit Ruby Walsh is hoping to make a return to competitive action before the start of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday, March 13

Jockey Ruby Walsh's hopes of making his comeback from injury at Clonmel tomorrow have been scuppered, with the news that the race meeting at Powerstown Park has been abandoned.  

The leading jockey has been off the track since suffering a broken leg in a fall at Punchestown last November, but has always insisted he would recuperate sufficiently to return before the Cheltenham Festival, which begins in just under a fortnight on Tuesday, March 13.

Officials made the decision to call off Thursday's card in Clonmel early on Wednesday morning

A statement from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) said "The IHRB has announced that the fixture at Clonmel on Thursday, March 1 has been abandoned due to an adverse weather forecast and hazardous driving conditions."

Walsh has started riding out again but has yet to return to the saddle competitively.

The 38 year-old is the most successful jockey in Cheltenham Festival history, with 56 winners. 

His next possible return date could be meetings at Navan on Saturday and Leopardstown on Sunday and Monday, if they survive the current cold snap.

Trainer Willie Mullins has used Paul Townend as number one rider for most of the season in the absence of Walsh, but he too has been on the sidelines since suffering an ankle injury in an agonising final flight fall from Killultagh Vic the Irish Gold Cup on February 4.