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Mick Fitzgerald faces a race to be fit to ride Esprit de Cotte in tomorrow's Martell Grand National after suffering an ankle injury in a fall at Aintree on Thursday.

On a day when four horses died at the course Fitzgerald was the only human casualty. He sustained his injury and was forced to give up his remaining rides when Architect fell fatally two out in the Glenlivet Anniversary 4-y-o Novices' Hurdle.

"I feel as though I've been run over by a steam engine - I feel sore. My ankle feels a bit ginger," he said.

"I don't know yet whether or not I'll ride today. I'm going back to see Rabbit (Slattery, physiotherapist) and I'll wait and see what she has to say before making a decision but I'm a lot better than the horses.

"I can pick myself up but it's very, very unfortunate about the horses."

If he decides to take up his five rides this afternoon Fitzgerald will have to pass the racecourse doctor first.

The other horses to die were Strong Promise, Rossell Island and Lake Kariba and Aintree's clerk of the course Ian Renton said this morning: "They were isolated incidents but we'll continue to look at any way we can cancel out the risk.

"It's a competitive sport and accidents happen but it's very sad that four should die on one day."