Tony McCoy was being treated in hospital for a chest injury last night after a crashing fall at Cheltenham – and he could miss next week's Punchestown Festival.
The multiple British champion jockey was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for checks on a suspected sternum injury.
McCoy, who will be crowned champion jockey for the 18th time at Sandown a week tomorrow, took the fall from Quantitativeeasing in the early stages of a hurdle race. The Nicky Henderson-trained gelding stumbled at the second flight and McCoy landed awkwardly after being thrown high into the air.
He was taken back to the jockeys' medical room on a stretcher and given oxygen to ease the pain. After assessment he was transferred to hospital, fully conscious and breathing unaided. Cheltenham's Andy Clifton said: "He has suffered a chest injury, but is conscious and moving all his extremities."
Last year the second half of McCoy's campaign was blighted by an injury to his ribs, but until yesterday he had enjoyed a relatively injury-free run this season. Even when kicked in the face at Wetherby in the autumn, he was back riding the following day.
McCoy could miss the last nine days of the jumps season in England. He could also be ruled out of the lucrative five-day Punchestown Festival, where he is booked for a number of rides for his main employer JP McManus.
While McCoy is battling one injury, the Grand National-winning jockey, Ryan Mania, has recovered from another. He returns to the saddle with three rides at Ayr today after sustaining a small fracture to a vertebra in a fall 24 hours after his win at Aintree.
Tomorrow he will be reunited with his National partner Auroras Encore as they bid for a historic double by winning the Coral Scottish National.
Meanwhile, Flemenstar has been ruled out of the Boylesports.com Champion Chase at Punchestown on Tuesday after connections decided to send the eight-year-old for a wind operation. Peter Casey's gelding looked set to take the season by storm after winning his first two starts of the campaign in impressive fashion, but things have not gone to plan since.
Flemenstar was narrowly beaten on his first attempt at three miles in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, before chasing home Sir Des Champs in the Hennessy Gold Cup in February, but missed Cheltenham and was below-par when a distant third to Henderson's superstar Sprinter Sacre at Aintree.
The latter has stood his ground for the Punchestown event and the trainer is hoping the ground will dry out for his brilliant seven-year-old.
A 19-length runner-up to Henderson's charge in the Champion Chase, Henry de Bromhead's Sizing Europe is likely to defend the Punchestown crown he won 12 months ago.
Other notable entries include the Colin Tizzard-trained Cue Card, Henderson's 2012 champion chaser Finian's Rainbow, while De Bromhead also has a second string to his bow in the shape of Days Hotel.
Sir Des Champs and Long Run, second and third respectively behind Bobs Worth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, are on course to clash in TheTote.com Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday.
Long Run's trainer Henderson has also left in Riverside Theatre, while First Lieutenant is another representative for Gigginstown, with Paul Nicholls responsible for Kauto Stone. Sizing Europe also has the option of this three-mile-one-furlong event. (© Daily Telegraph, London)