Agony after the ecstasy for Keith Donoghue

Story by Conall Collier

Friday, 28th December, 2018 5:53pm

Agony after the ecstasy for Keith Donoghue

A battered and bruised Keith Donoghue today

A broken nose and a fractured eye socket - HAPPY CHRISTMAS KEITH. 

Meath jockey Keith Donoghue experienced the two sides of national hunt racing in the space of 24 hours at Limerick on Wednesday and Thursday 
of this week.

There was the excitement and glamour of winning his first Grade 1 race plus the extra bonus of beating 11-time champion jockey Ruby Walsh in the process.

Then there was a crashing fall and the prospects of a month on the sideline.

All in the space of those hectic 24 hours.

KEITH DONOGHUE WINNING HIS FIRST GRADE 1 RACE AT LIMERICK (Photo Healy Racing)

The popular young jockey is tonight recovering at home after experiencing A&E at two Dublin hospitals - St James and the Mater - following what would have been an agonising drive from the racecourse at Limerick last night.

The positives relate to a St Stephen's Day Grade 1 victory on the Gordon Elliott-trained Hardline which edged out the Ruby Walsh-partnered favourite Getabird.

After that win Donoghue commented: "I have missed a couple of Grade 1s through weight and getting taken off ones and with injury so it's great to get that first one."

KEITH IN THE WINNERS ENCLOSURE WITH HIS BROTHER ROSS AND HARDLINE (Photo: Healy Racing)

The next positive was another winner at Limerick yesterday when the Elliott-trained Eclair De Beaufeu battled on well to take the opening maiden hurdle.

That was a boost for the trainer who had only those two Donoghue winners from some 50 runners over the opening two days of Christmas Festival action.

However, there was a sting to the tale and it arrived in the handicap chase at Limerick when the Elliott-trained Burren Life fell two from home when Donoghue was starting to go for his race. 

"We got in a bit tight at the fence and he just tipped up, but as I was coming down, his head was coming back up and I suppose it was a bit like a headbutt," explained Donoghue.

"My dad and my brother were with me in Limerick and they brought me to St James Hospital in Dublin last night and then I went to the Mater today.

THE INJURIES SUSTAINED BY KEITH DONOGHUE

"I have a broken nose and a fractured eye socket and I'll be off for a few weeks, until the swelling eases a bit anyway.

"Hopefully I'll get back by the end of January," he added.

The Dunshaughlin man had to forfeit four booked rides today - two of them fell.

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