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John Thomas McNamara

JT McNamara: injured when Galaxy Rock fell at Cheltenham on Thursday

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

McNamara undergoes surgery after heavy fall

LEADING amateur rider JT McNamara has successfully come through surgery and remains in an induced coma, Dr Adrian McGoldrick reported on Friday evening.

McNamara fractured his C3 and C4 vertebrae following a heavy fall at Cheltenham on Thursday. He was riding Galaxy Rock for Jonjo O'Neill in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase when the nine-year-old fell at the first.

The rider was taken by air ambulance to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol in an induced coma.

Speaking on Friday evening, McGoldrick, the Turf Club's chief medical officer, said: "The surgery was successful and he's still in an induced coma."

Earlier in the day, McGoldrick said: "John Thomas underwent surgery this morning after suffering very serious neck injuries at Cheltenham on Thursday. He is in a very serious but stable condition. 

"He has fractured his C3 and C4 vertebrae and they are being stabilised. No more details of his condition will be issued today. We should know more about his situation tomorrow."

McNamara, whose wife Caroline flew into Britain from Ireland on Friday morning, has ridden four winners at the festival, including last year's National Hunt Chase on Teaforthree.

McGoldrick also had news on Davy Russell, who is expected to leave hospital on Saturday after making progress from the collapsed lung he suffered early on Thursday.

He said: "He had a a scan this morning and expects to be released tomorrow. When he gets home I'll arrange an appointment with a chest specialist and we will know after he has seen him how long he will be out for."

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