Burke ready to forget 2016

Jockey Jonathan Burke is set for another spell on the sidelines after suffering a broken leg in a fall at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Jonathan Burke wins the Midlands National on Goonyella, on whom he finished fifth at Aintree.

The leading Irish jockey was partnering the Joseph O'Brien-trained All The Answers in the Bar One Racing Handicap Hurdle when he came to grief three flights from the finish.

Burke, who only recently went freelance after his partnership with owners Alan and Ann Potts came to an end, is set to miss the busy festive period, but is trying to stay optimistic.

He said: "It's a minor fracture of my lower fibula. It's a clean break and I have to keep the cast on for two weeks before going back to see the doctor on December 20, when I'd be hopeful they'll take the cast off and put the boot on.

"I'm probably looking at six weeks out, which knocks Christmas and the new year on the head.

"It's a big blow to miss Christmas, especially now I've gone freelance as you never know where you might end up.

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"But it's one of those things, it's part and parcel of the job and we move on."

It has certainly been a year to forget for one of the sport's most promising young riders.

Burke suffered two compressed vertebrae fractures in a fall at Thurles in January, but was fit enough to ride at both the Cheltenham Festival and in the Crabbie's Grand National, in which he finished fifth aboard Goonyella.

However, he then spent over three months on the sidelines after fracturing a different vertebra during a schooling session at his father Liam's yard in County Cork in April

"It's been a nightmare year really," said Burke.

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"I think I was out for around six weeks after the compound fracture of my T3 and T4 and then it was nearly four months after fracturing my T6 in April.

"At least I'll be able to have Christmas dinner this year, which is not something any jockey wants to be doing really, but I'm trying to be positive.

"It's annoying as I'd just started to get going again after building up a few more contacts.

"I had six rides for five different trainers at Fairyhouse on Saturday, I've had great support and hopefully everyone will keep supporting me when I come back. I'll happy to draw a line under 2016, that's for sure."

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