Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival, the most prestigious National Hunt horse racing event of the year, starts today, despite the severe weather.

Jockey 'stable' following surgery

J T McNamara remains in Frenchay Hospital Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Leading amateur jockey JT McNamara is reported to be in a "stable condition" following surgery on the serious neck injury he sustained at Cheltenham on Thursday.

The 37-year-old was injured in a first-fence fall and was airlifted to hospital after being treated by the on-course medics.

Conscious following the fall according to officials at the track, the leading amateur rider was put in an induced coma before his transfer to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

McNamara underwent surgery on fractured vertebrae yesterday.

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West Country (E)

John McCririck misses the Gold Cup

John McCririck will miss the Gold Cup today Credit: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Veteran racing pundit John McCririck will have to watch today's Cheltenham Gold Cup race on television after being released from hospital.

McCririck, 72, known for his distinctive sideburns and deerstalker hat, is convalescing at home after being detained in Cheltenham General Hospital.

He complained of feeling unwell during the first day of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

The former Channel 4 pundit had said earlier this week that he planned on returning to Prestbury Park to watch the highlight of the four-day national hunt festival.

But after being released from hospital he has returned home to recover.

Mr McCririck's agent Patsy Martin said today: "John is resting today.

"He is not going racing today and the next race meeting he will be attending will be Doncaster on Saturday week."

Gold Cup day at Cheltenham Races

Horse racing at Cheltenham Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Gold Cup race today is the highlight of the Cheltenham Festival.

More than 200,000 people are expected to have attended the four-day race meeting, and bookies are hoping to have achieved a turnover of more than £600 million.

But amateur jockey JT McNamara remains in hospital in a coma after suffering a serious neck injury when his horse Galaxy Rock fell yesterday afternoon.

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National

Feathers and fur: Ladies' Day at the Cheltenham Festival

Mimi Theobald from Inverness arrives for Ladies Day with her husband Doug Theobald, a retired Royal Australian Navy officer
Mimi Theobald from Inverness arrives for Ladies Day with her husband Doug Theobald, a retired Royal Australian Navy officer Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Braving the cold at the Cheltenham Festival the coats have stayed on and lots of fur has been on show, but despite the weather the hats have been no less impressive.

Styles this year seem to favour smaller hats with plenty of feathers making an appearance.

Princess Anne and Zara Phillips arrive for Ladies Day at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival
Princess Anne and Zara Phillips arrive for Ladies Day at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
Sarah Jordan (left) and Kirsty Scaplehorn from Cheltenham attend Ladies Day
Sarah Jordan (left) and Kirsty Scaplehorn from Cheltenham attend Ladies Day Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

How does Ladies' Day compare to last year?

Gallery: Ladies dress to impress at Cheltenham Festival 2012.

Ferniche Millinery poses for a picture during Ladies Day
Ferniche Millinery poses for a picture during Ladies Day Credit: David Davies/PA Wire
West Country (E)

Cheltenham Festival goer still missing

A pensioner from Rotherham who is visiting the Cheltenham Festival remains missing on Wednesday.

Friends of 70 year old Philip Lucas last saw him around 5.50pm on Tuesday.

He was supposed to be staying in Cranham during the week of the festival.

Gloucestershire Constabulary have told ITV News West Country that they received a report of a possible sighting of Mr Lucas in the Kings Arms public house around 11.15pm on Tuesday, but there has been no confirmed information about his whereabouts.

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