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Daryl Jacob winning Friday's County Hurdle on Lac Fontana

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Cheltenham Festival: Jacob in good spirits as he prepares for operation

JOCKEY Daryl Jacob was said to be in remarkably good spirits as he prepared to be operated on in hospital following a freak horror fall at Cheltenham on Friday.

Jacob was cantering Port Melon to the start for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle when the six-year-old crashed through a running rail, sending his rider to the floor.

A lengthy delay followed as Jacob, who broke his knee, leg and elbow in the incident, was treated and taken to hospital.

It was a bitter blow for Jacob, who endured a testing festival before getting off the mark on Lac Fontana in the County Hurdle just before the Albert Bartlett.

He joined Ruby Walsh, Paul Townend, Mark Walsh, Bryan Cooper and Josh Hamer as riders to suffer injuries at the meeting.

"I was in hospital last night with Daryl," Jacob's agent Chris Broad said on Saturday morning. "He's going down at 9am for an operation on his left leg, knee and elbow.

"He was in remarkably good spirits considering all. It's been a difficult week for all the jockeys"

Jacob faces a lengthy time on the sidelines and Broad added: "Until the operation is done I don't think you could contemplate how long he'll be out for."

Broad also looks after Jason Maguire, who missed Cheltenham after a fall at Stratford on Monday resulted in him having part of his liver removed.

"Jason's fine," said Broad. "He's making progress. He's very sore, but is recuperating . He needs plenty of rest and hopes to be out of hospital in maybe a week's time. There'll be updates on both next week."

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