Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival, the most prestigious National Hunt horse racing event of the year, is underway.

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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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."

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JT McNamara taken to Frenchay Hospital

JT McNamara has been airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol after being injured in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival. The renowned amateur rider was partnering Galaxy Rock for trainer Jonjo O'Neill in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup when the pair crashed out at the first fence.

JT McNamara is being transferred to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol via air ambulance and continues to undergo assessment.

– Andy Clifton, Course spokesman
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