McCoy detained in hospital after Cheltenham fall

Champion jockey Tony McCoy was kept in hospital overnight for observation following a fall at Cheltenham yestersday.

McCoy was partnering the Nicky Henderson-trained Quantitativeeasing in the Barbury International Horse Trials Handicap Hurdle when the gelding stumbled at the second flight, throwing McCoy into the air.

While he was conscious after the fall, he had to be stretchered off the track and was given oxygen on his way to the medical room by ambulance.

Following assessment at the track, McCoy was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and spent the night there. It is expected he will be released today and will be hoping to be passed fit for next week’s Punchestown Festival where he could expect to ride several well fancied horses for JP McManus.

Meanwhile, John Smith’s Grand National hero Auroras Encore heads a field of 26 runners in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr tomorrow.

Sue Smith’s 11-year-old recorded a shock 66-1 victory in the Aintree spectacular a fortnight ago and having gone up 11lb in the weights, he has to carry a huge burden of 11st 12lb this weekend.

The veteran aims to become the first horse since the legendary Red Rum in 1974 to complete the rarely-attempted National double, with Aintree partner Ryan Mania returning from injury to take the ride. Smith has a second runner in the shape of Fill The Power.

Ante-post favourite Rival D’Estruval is in the line-up following his fall when still in contention in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Other leading contenders include Alan King’s Godsmejudge, David Pipe’s Midlands National winner Big Occasion, the John Wade-trained Always Right and Neptune Equester from the stable of Brian Ellison.

The sole Irish-trained runner is Thomas Gibney’s Lion Na Bearnai, winner of last year’s Irish Grand National but not seen since being pulled up in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury at the start of December.

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