Monday 26 September 2016

Tony McCoy: Robbie McNamara's condition is all I can think about

Published 13/04/2015 | 16:05

Jockey Robbie McNamara
Jockey Robbie McNamara

Tony McCoy is praying that Robbie McNamara recovers from serious injuries he picked up during a horrific fall at Wexford on Friday.

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The 19-time champion jockey, who will retire from race riding on April 25 at Sandown, spoke about the condition of his good friend Robbie McNamara on RTE Radio One's Ray D'Arcy Show this afternoon.

"It's a very dangerous sport and unfortunately I've had colleagues who have been fatally injured, you had John Thomas McNamara who had a very bad fall at Cheltenham a few years ago and his cousin Robbie McNamara had a bad fall in Wexford the other day and he's not in the greatest condition," he told the show.

"I know he had an operation on his back yesterday and I think it went pretty well.

"I've broken my ankle, my leg, my arm, my wrist, my back, pretty much all of my ribs, I've punctured my lungs... I've done the lot but luckily I've been able to get up and go again. I'm one of the lucky ones.

"That happens every day of the week, that's the job we're in. It's a tough sport.

"Pretty much since I heard that Robbie McNamara had a bad fall at Wexford the other day, it's pretty much all I can think about because he's a lad I've played golf with a lot, a lad I've been on holidays with a lot. It reminds you of the dangers and I hope and pray he's okay."

McNamara was due to partner last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere in the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree, but suffered multiple injuries after coming to grief in a fall at Wexford.

He was initially taken to Wexford General Hospital, before being transferred on Friday night.

He tweeted an image with a thumb's up from his hospital bed after undergoing surgery with the message: "Like to thank everyone for the kind words. Ribs and spine very stiff and sore but Op went well. Plenty of work ahead."

Dr Adrian McGoldrick, chief medical advisor for the Irish Turf Club, said that it was too early to know the full extent of the injuries.

"He was very stable overnight and in very good spirits," he said. "He doesn't want to say any more at this stage and you can understand that."

"It was serious chest, abdominal and spinal injuries. The spinal injuries have been operated on and that's stabilised.

"The next phase is recuperation and we'll take it from there."

McNamara was transferred to the Mater hospital from Wexford General Hospital and trainer Jim Culloty yesterday confirmed that the rider had undergone surgery to remove a haematoma pressing on his spinal cord.

"My heart is thinking of Robbie McNamara at the moment," Culloty told Channel 4 Racing before the Grand National. "He is in surgery at the minute. As well as eight broken ribs and a punctured lung, he fractured his T11 vertebrae and there is a bit of spinal damage.

"There is a big haematoma on his spine pressing on his spinal cord and they are trying to remove that at the moment. My prayers are with him."

McNamara, who rode a double at last year's Cheltenham Festival as an amateur before turning professional earlier this season, was partnering 14-1 shot Bursledon when he came to grief four flights from the finish in the first division of the Cahore Point Handicap Hurdle.

He was taken to Wexford General Hosptial, where he underwent a CT scan, before being transferred to the Mater where he underwent surgery yesterday.

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