H&H racing columnist Robert Thornton underwent a successful operation on his knee at St Mary’s Hospital in Bristol last Thursday (8 July) and is recovering at home in Gloucestershire.

The jump jockey severed three of the four ligaments in his knee in a fall at Newton Abbott on 5 July, when the Paul Nicholls-trained chaser Hell’s Bay ran out through the wing at the second-last fence.

“The operation went well and it’s now a case of doing what I’m told,” said Thornton. ‘It was very painful on Friday, but my wife Meally [who is pregnant with their first child] is my hero — she got my painkillers sorted out.”

The 32-year-old was told that he may be unable to ride for as long as 12 months, but says he is aiming to be back in January.

“We’ll just have to see how quickly it mends — I’m starting physio on Friday,” he said.