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Armagh jockey Hughes being treated for punctured lung after fall

 

By Ron McKnight

Top jockey Brian Hughes will be side-lined for a period following a fall at the Punchestown Festival.

The Co Armagh rider is presently in Navan Hospital with a punctured lung. At one stage he was feared to have punctured both lungs in his fall from Ask Nile in the novice chase on Friday.

Dr Adrian McGoldrick, Senior Turf Club medical officer, said: "Brian suffered a collapsed lung and is in a stable condition at Navan General Hospital. He is expected to be released within the next four to five days."

Hughes told the Belfast Telegraph earlier this year, when appointed Racing Ambassador to Toals Bookmakers, his main aim was to regain the number two spot in the jockeys championship and duly finished runner up on 142 winners to champion Richard Johnson who posted 176 for the season.

The province continues to produce big race winners. Following the victory of Bellshill in the Punchestown Gold Cup for the Templepatrick nursery of Wilson Dennison, having been bought by Cullybackey based Ian Ferguson, Step Back claimed the high profile finale of the jumps season, winning the Bet365 Chase at Sandown.

The winner of the £150,000 showpiece spent his formative years with Lisburn maestro George Stewart who supplied an Aintree Grand National winner Bindaree in 2002.

Step Back won a trio of local point to points, including at Ballymena and Kirkistown, prior to his sale to trainer Mark Bradstock. Winning connections indicated the Aintree Grand National would be a principal target next season.

Belfast Telegraph

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