By Tom Peacock
Ruby Walsh was taken to hospital for X-rays for a suspected broken leg after suffering a fall from Al Boum Photo in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase.
Trainer Willie Mullins believes the Cheltenham Festival’s most successful ever jockey has again fractured the right leg which he injured not only last November but several times before.
Walsh had faced a race against time to be back for his usual heap of top rides at Cheltenham, only returning to racecourse action with a winner at Thurles last Thursday.
Despite going into the meeting with a couple of mounts under the belt, he picked up a double on the opening card courtesy of Footpad in the Arkle and Benie Des Dieux in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle.
“He’s going for X-rays - it looks as if it’s the same injury again,” said Mullins.
“The same place. Obviously things could change in a few hours and the X-rays will be clear but I do know he’s very, very sore.”
Walsh will need medical clearance before he can take up any further rides at the last two days of the meeting.
The British Horseracing Authority's stewarding team tweeted: "Following examination by doctors, Ruby Walsh has been stood down for the rest of the day. He would need to pass a further medical examination by Doctors before taking any further rides at the Festival."
Walsh was due to partner Douvan in the big race of the day, the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, with that mount subsequently taken by Patrick Mullins.
The 38-year-old rider only returned to competitive action last Thursday after he suffered a broken leg at Punchestown on November 18.
Walsh rode two winners at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday - aboard Footpad in the Arkle Trophy and Benie Des Dieux in the Mares' Hurdle.
Paddy Power took the generous move to pay out on Ruby Walsh being the top jockey of the meeting, while Boylesports will return stakes on Walsh being top jockey at the Festival.