McNamara moved to hospital in Dublin

JT McNamara, the amateur jockey badly injured in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival, was transferred to hospital in Dublin yesterday having been treated in Bristol since March.

McNamara moved to hospital in Dublin

Family of the 38-year-old had been hoping for some time that he would be moved nearer home and they finally got the news they had longed for.

A statement was issued by Dr Adrian McGoldrick, Turf Club senior medical officer and Lisa Hancock, chief executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund on behalf of the McNamara Family.

It read: “We are pleased to announce that JT McNamara has arrived at the National Spinal Unit, Mater Hospital, Dublin following his transfer from Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.

“We wish to express sincere thanks to all the personnel involved in his safe transfer. We will forever be indebted to the staff at Frenchay Hospital for the fantastic care he has received there since his injury.

“John Thomas is looking forward to the next phase of his treatment and rehabilitation in Ireland. We thank everyone for their on-going support and prayers and ask people please to continue to respect our privacy.”

McNamara, who rode four Cheltenham Festival winners and more than 600 point-to-point winners, was injured when his mount Galaxy Rock fell at the first fence in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

* David Redvers paid tribute to Lady Rebecca after the rags-to-riches mare that launched his career died at the age of 21 due to colic.

He paid just 400 guineas for the daughter of Rolfe at Doncaster sales as a yearling and her exploits helped establish his Tweenhills Stud in Gloucestershire.

Redvers and his mother retained a 30% share in the diminutive Lady Rebecca, who ran in the colours of the Kinnersley Optimists.

She ran once for Simon Christian and when he retired she was trained by Venetia Williams.

Making her debut in 1996, she went on to win 13 of her 19 starts and claim more than £160,000 in prize-money.

She ended her racing days on a fitting note in January 2001 by winning the Grade One Cleeve Hurdle for the third successive year at her beloved Cheltenham, where she recorded no less than seven victories.

She retired as a broodmare to Tweenhills Farm & Stud in 2001 as her connections did not want to risk her over fences. Her offspring included hurdles winners Lord Generous and Lady Samantha.

“I can think of three different careers that have been based solely around her,” said Redvers.

“She certainly helped my career and get Tweenhills up and running. I’m not even sure if she hadn’t done what she did we wouldn’t be here today.

“She was Venetia Williams’ first superstar and Tom Symonds has just rung me up after running in the London Marathon just to say she was the horse that inspired him to become a trainer.

“She won seven times at Cheltenham in a total of 13 career wins. At the time there was only one horse, Silver Fame, who had won more races at Cheltenham than her.

“She is in the Hall of Fame there. What people loved about her was her rags-to-riches story.

“It didn’t matter how much she cost or how small she was. She had such a huge heart.

“She was a spectacular mare.”

* Connections of Alive Alive Oh are hanging on to the dream the filly can go right to the top.

She was denied a run in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes at Navan yesterday when that meeting was abandoned, but is still likely to turn up for that Listed event over a mile and a quarter as the meeting has been rescheduled for May 7.

A convincing winner on her seasonal debut at Cork on March 30, the Tommy Stack-trained three-year-old holds lofty entries in the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas next month and the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July.

“She won well in Cork and should have run at Navan on Sunday, but it was cancelled,” Stack’s son and assistant Fozzy said.

“They are going to reschedule that race for a couple of weeks and I would imagine we would probably go there.

“She’s a nice filly at the minute and she will have to progress and we will see where we go.

“We keep dreaming and for the minute the dream is still alive. What she does next time will probably tell us where we’re going.

“Whether we are going for an Irish Oaks or something like that or just going Listed.”

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