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Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D'Allen dies at age of five following accident on gallops

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Jockey Mark Walsh on his way to winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy with Espoir D'allen during Champion Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Jockey Mark Walsh on his way to winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy with Espoir D'allen during Champion Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse.

PA

Jockey Mark Walsh on his way to winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy with Espoir D'allen during Champion Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Champion Hurdle hero Espoir D'Allen has sadly died at the age of five, just months after having the racing world at his feet following a scintillating display to land the two-mile hurdling showpiece at the Cheltenham Festival by a record 15 lengths.

Gavin Cromwell's stable star had been ruled out of the new jumps season just last week with the Meath trainer lamenting an accident on his gallops which left the exciting hurdler "very lame and sore" but things took a bleak turn earlier today.

Espoir D'Allen – owned by JP McManus – was being monitored in Fethard Equine Hospital after the injury but the Navan trainer revealed to the Racing Post that the vets were forced to put him down in the best interests of the horse's welfare.

"It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Espoir D'Allen had to be put down earlier today. Following a freak accident two weeks ago, he was relocated to Fethard Equine Hospital," a heartbroken Cromwell said.

"John Halley and his veterinary team deemed that it was inhumane to persist with treatment and, on their advice, we made the tough decision."

Espoir D'Allen was a scintillating winner of the Champion Hurdle at this year's Cheltenham Festival in March but unfortunately that was his last racecourse appearance as a promising racing future was sadly cut short.

Online Editors