Walford set for quick comeback after Ayr tumble

ROBERT Walford could return to action later this week after escaping serious injury in a fall at Ayr on Saturday afternoon. The jump jockey damaged his nose and an eye when parting company from Lothian Falcon after his mount had been badly hampered at the fourth fence in the Scottish Grand National.

Trainer Robert Alner, for whom Walford is stable jockey, said: "His nose is smashed up and he's got a cut over his eye, but he's basically okay.

"He went to hospital and they put some stitches in under his eyes, but they can't do anything with his nose.

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"It could have been a lot worse and he'll be back in a day or two."

Dougie Costello also plans to return to action in a few days following his tumble in the Ayr feature. The northern-based rider needed stitches in a cut to the head after a fall from According To John at the fourth fence of the Scottish National.

"I went for a precautionary X-ray on Saturday but thankfully it found nothing serious," he said. "I've had a few stitches in my head and I've also got bit of stiffness, but I'll be okay.

"I'm too stiff and sore to be riding the next couple of days, but I should be back on Wednesday or Thursday."

Barry Geraghty, meanwhile, gave up his rides at Ascot yesterday after hurting his elbow in a fall from Larks Lad on Friday.

Although he was in winning action at Ayr on Saturday – he completed a treble at the track – the Irish jockey has decided to give the injury time to heal so he can be 100 per cent for the Punchestown Festival that starts tomorrow. My elbow's giving me a bit of trouble but it should be fine and it's nothing major," said Geraghty.