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Townend facing spell on sidelines

Paul Townend is expected to be out of action for three to four weeks after fracturing his left collarbone in a fall at Navan on Saturday.

The rider, who is currently leading the race for the jump jockeys' title, sustained the injury when his mount Indian Buck fell fatally in the concluding Headfort Handicap Chase.

Townend is nine wins ahead of Davy Russell in the championship battle, but his rival is also out of action at the moment after suffering a wrist injury.

Although he will miss the John Smith's Grand National meeting at Aintree, it is hoped Townend will be fit enough for the Irish National fixture beginning at Fairyhouse on April 24.

"He has a fractured left collarbone so he will be seeing surgeon Tadgh O'Sullivan on Monday in the Whitfield Orthopaedic and Sports Clinic," said Turf Club chief medical officer Adrian McGoldrick.

"That's the plan and I imagine he'll be out for about three to four weeks anyway. He should be back for the Irish Grand National meeting at Fairyhouse if all goes well."

Townend has ridden 76 winners so far this season, with Russell on 67 and both Paul Carberry and Andrew McNamara on 60.

Meanwhile Barry Geraghty hopes to be back in the saddle next weekend after suffering a bad fall at Newbury on Saturday.

The jockey escaped serious injury but admitted feeling sore after taking a tumble from Kerada at the fourth-last fence in the mares' novice handicap chase final.

He said: "I've been having an ice pack on my neck. My shoulder was very bad on Saturday. It's a bit better, but my neck is bad at the minute from whiplash. There's no major damage done and I'll definitely be back for Aintree and I'm sure I'll be riding at the weekend."

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