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Geraghty to miss Cheltenham after horror fall

By Anita Chambers

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 on Saturday.

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.

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.

"I've broken ribs individually before but never had six go all at the same time. Once the lung improves I expect to be back for Aintree."

Geraghty had a host of big rides to look forward to at the Festival 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.

"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.

"We will talk to JP and discuss plans but it's (Cheltenham) is still very possible."

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