Top jockey Barry Geraghty has been ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival after suffering a collapsed lung and six broken ribs in a fall at Kempton Park yesterday.
The rider was taken to hospital for further examination following a spill from the Nicky Henderson-trained Charli Parcs in the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle, and while later reporting he had a "slightly collapsed lung and a cracked rib", he said he was "hopeful" of making the big meeting at Prestbury Park next month.
However, that will not now be the case, after the full extent of his injuries became clear.
Speaking on www.attheraces.com on Sunday evening, Geraghty, who had received a kick from a following horse in the fall, said: "I've a collapsed lung and six broken ribs on my right side. I'm obviously devastated to miss the Festival - there were so many good horses to look forward to as JP's (McManus) team all look in particularly good shape this year.
"Last night was pretty rough. I've broken ribs individually before but never had six go all at the same time. I'll be in hospital for a few more days but once the lung improves my recovery should be straightforward and I expect to be back for Aintree."
The news will also come as a major blow to Henderson, who said earlier in the day: "He sent me a text last night and said he would be fine for Cheltenham. He sounded positive on Cheltenham. JP was going to see him this morning and let me know how he is.
"I'm not sure he will have felt quite so fine this morning. He is going to be in hospital for a day or two.
"It is a fortnight on Tuesday before Cheltenham starts and we need him back.
"I know what these boys are like - if they can get there, they will."
Geraghty had a host of big rides to look forward to at the Festival - where he has 34 career winners to his name - and could have opted to ride ante-post favourite Buveur D'Air for Henderson and McManus in the Champion Hurdle on the opening afternoon, March 14, or Yanworth for Alan King in the same colours.
Henderson had news of Charli Parcs, who went into the Adonis as a leading contender for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Triumph Hurdle at the Festival, but had been under pressure before seemingly coming back into it, only to fall two out.
He said: "He is fine. He won't go to Newbury on Friday, we do these things (make entries) if they get loose at the start.
"To be honest, I need to talk to Barry. It didn't look like things were going very clever, but Noel (Fehily) said first time he rode him at Kempton he was a bit the same. As soon as he saw daylight off he went when he came off that bend.
"He picked up again having been five or six lengths down and came into the second-last like a bullet.
"We will talk to JP and discuss plans but it's (Cheltenham) is still very possible."