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Tony McCoy taken to hospital after fall at Taunton

By Chris McGrath

Tony McCoy faces a spell on the sidelines after sustaining suspected cracked ribs at Taunton yesterday.

McCoy suffered a final-fence fall aboard Laudatory in the Steve Logan Memorial County Contractors Handicap Hurdle.

The 16-times champion jockey gave up his final ride of the day, Hopeful Start, in the totetrifecta Handicap Chase.

A shaky-looking McCoy was later taken by ambulance on a stretcher to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

Clerk of the course Michael Trickey said: "He had some morphine and they've had a further look and taken him to hospital.

"He has suspected cracked ribs."

McCoy was due to be in action at Warwick today, where he had four rides.

Meanwhile Menorah's brief chasing career continued with its fair share of incident as last season's Champion Hurdle fifth survived a scary moment over the final fence at Taunton.

Jockey Richard Johnson and the 1-4 favourite experienced crossed wires as they attempted to negotiate the last, but as he was so far clear of his two opponents, it scarcely mattered.

Menorah had unseated Johnson under similar circumstances on his chasing debut at Exeter and trainer Philip Hobbs decided to switch him back to hurdles only to see the six-year-old relinquish his title in the International at Cheltenham when only fourth.

Other than the last, and a less serious mistake at the first fence of the toteexacta Novices' Chase, Menorah showed undeniable potential at the discipline and produced several exquisite leaps on the final circuit.

"Nobody wanted to make the running and he was a bit brave and came out of my hands at the first," said Johnson.

"He put down at the last and stumbled on the other side, but he'll learn from that."

Hobbs added: "They should call them nervous chases rather than novice chases!

"At the last Richard thought he was going to stand off, and in fact he put down. But I thought he jumped everything else really well.

"The plan is the Arkle and work backwards from there. Ideally he wants good ground, which isn't too easy to find at the moment, and I'd like to give him some more practice. There's room for two runs before Cheltenham, if we want to."

Royale's Charter finished second, 13 lengths behind.

Taunton is a sympathetic course for youngsters and it provided the perfect introduction to jumping for Grumeti in the totequadpot Novices' Hurdle.

Useful on the Flat for Michael Bell, Grumeti (11-2) has been transferred to Alan King and cantered 18 lengths clear of the 13-8 favourite Ted Spread.

A juvenile running against some older horses - admittedly receiving a healthy weight allowance - Grumeti represents owner Max McNeill, who has been well-rewarded by others in the sphere like Mille Chief and Walkon.

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