Paul Townend fights for fitness to compete in Randox Grand National … after Irish champion jockey fell at Fairyhouse Festival
- Paul Townend fell during the Fairyhouse Easter Festival on Sunday
- A late decision will be made about his condition after sustaining a foot injury
- He still hopes to participate in Saturday’s Randox Grand National event
A final decision on whether Irish champion jockey Paul Townend will be able to ride second-favorite Burrows Saint in Saturday’s Randox Grand National will not be made until midweek.
Townend is reluctant to make Aintree after a foot injury on Sunday at Fairyhouse, which meant giving up his rides on Monday’s Irish Grand National map.
Willie Mullins, trainer of 2019 Irish national winner Burrows Saint, said: ‘Paul will be visiting his doctor again during the week.
Paul Townend hopes to pass a late fitness test to make it to Saturday’s Randox Grand National
“We’ll look at it little by little and see how he does it before we make any further decisions.”
While trainer Mullins sweats over the fitness of his stable jockey, trainer Evan Williams has to wait even more nervously to see if his Welsh National winner Secret Reprieve makes the race.
The seven-year-old, who will be ridden by James Bowen, will need three horses above him in the bills to retire if he wants to make it to the last 40.
Secret Reprieve and Irish trained Some Neck, the 42nd horse in the entry list after Monday’s penultimate leg, both have 10st 1lb.
But the Williams-trained horse would be eliminated first as his Welsh National form has been cut by 2 pounds.
Farclas, whom Williams hoped would be scratched to get Secret Reprieve closer to the cut-off, now appears to be running for the Denise Foster stable.
Townend sustained a foot injury during a fall at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival on Sunday
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Cloth Cap remains a 4-1 Grand National favorite, but a reminder of the unpredictability of marathon tower was served by Freewheelin Dylan’s 150-1 win in the Irish National.
Jockey Ricky Doyle did everything to beat Run Wild Fred by a length and a quarter. The last exhibition, the highest weight and the 4-1 favorite, was beaten in fourth place by five lengths.
Freewheelin Dylan is trained by Dermot McLoughlin, whose father Liam rode the Irish national winner Kerforo in 1962.