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Sir Des Champs - Leopardstown 09.02.2013

Punctured lung rules Davy Russell out of Gold Cup ride on Sir Des Champs

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Russell to miss Gold Cup ride on Sir Des Champs

DAVY RUSSELL will miss the ride on Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup second-favourite Sir Des Champs after suffering a punctured lung on Thursday.

Cheltenham spokesman Andy Clifton said: "Davy Russell spontaneously punctured a lung. He was treated here at the track in the jockeys' hospital and has since been transferred to Cheltenham General hospital, where it is expected he'll stay overnight."

Russell, who rode Argocat and Stonemaster in the first two races, was stood down before the Ryanair in which he was due to ride the favourite and eventual second First Lieutenant.

He was replaced on First Lieutenant and his World Hurdle mount Bog Warrior by Bryan Cooper, who rode his first festival winner in the Jewson on Benefficient.

No decision as to who will replace him on Sir Des Champs has been made, although the BHA's Robin Mounsey quashed the rumours Tony McCoy could defect from Sunnyhillboy.

"As long as Sunnyhillboy remains in the race, the rules of racing would not allow Tony McCoy to switch mounts and ride another horse," he said.

"I don't think we'll have any problem finding someone," said owner Michael O'Leary. "I will talk to Willie this evening and we'll see who's still standing and then we'll make a decision in the morning."

On Russell, he added: "He got kicked after falling off Un Beau Matin in the Coral Cup and collapsed on the gallops this morning."

Paul Carberry replaces Russell on Our Vinnie in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle on Friday.

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