Suspected broken leg to rule Barry Geraghty out of National

Irish jockey suffered injury in a crashing fall from Peregrine Run at Aintree on Friday

Barry Geraghty is expected to miss the ride on leading fancy Anibale Fly in Saturday's Grand National after suffering a suspected broken leg in a crashing fall from Peregrine Run in the Topham Handicap Chase at Aintree on Friday.

Geraghty appeared to be kicked by another runner in the race after falling at the 16th fence and was seen to be holding his leg after the incident. He was taken to Aintree University Hospital for assessment and missed the winning ride on Champ in the subsequent Sefton Novice Hurdle.

If Geraghty's injury is confirmed, Mark Walsh is expected to take over on the 16-1 chance Anibale Fly, the runner-up behind Al Boum Photo in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month. Walsh had previously been due to ride Regal Encore, a 66-1 outsider.

The Topham, the only race on Friday over the Grand National fences, also saw the second fatal injury to a runner at this year’s Aintree Festival when Forest Des Aigles from Lucinda Russell’s stable was put down after breaking a leg on the run to the final fence. Earlier in the day, Dan Skelton’s Crucial Role was also put down after suffering an injury in a fall in the Mildmay Novice Chase.

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Ruby Walsh, who will be aboard the second-favourite Rathvinden in the Grand National, took the feature race for the second day running as Min ran away with the Melling Chase under a front-running ride.

Min was 7-2 to beat Altior in last month’s Champion Chase at Cheltenham but did not jump with any fluency and finished only fifth. He was much slicker over his fences this time, however, and had the race under control on the run to the last before extending his lead all the way to the line to win by 20 lengths.

It is unlikely to be as straightforward on Saturday as Walsh tries to find a plan to beat Tiger Roll, one of the warmest favourites for the National for a century or more.

“The plan is the same as always, get over the first and make a plan after that,” Walsh said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re on the favourite, the second-favourite or a 100-1 chance. I think [TIGER ROLL]is a horse with a huge chance in the race but I hope that 11 stone five will slow him down. I’m riding against him so I have to look for some way that’s going to get him beaten and I’m just hoping the extra six pounds will slow him down that bit so that we can get by him.”

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