The Henry Daly-trained top hurdler Mighty Man ruptured a superficial flexor tendon on his off-fore in the Champion Stayers’ Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival on 26 April. He had been in the lead with just two flights to go.

“It’s pretty much the end of his career,” owner Nicky Hanbury told H&H. “He’s back home now and is enjoying the four-star treatment he deserves.”

Mighty Man is currently undergoing stem cell surgery but his recovery is not expected to be rapid.

“If nothing else he’s sure to have a happy life with us in Leicestershire,” added Mrs Hanbury.

The seven-year-old Mighty Man had been trying to match his spectacular performance in the Liverpool Hurdle last month, where he had been victorious over BlackJack Ketchum and the reigning Ladbrokes World Hurdle champion, Inglis Drever.

Jockey Richard Johnson told BBC Sport: “He broke down on his off-fore and I had been niggling for four flights before that. The ground was perfect, it is just an injury that could have happened anywhere. It happened before we really got racing.”