Florida Pearl’s jockey, Adrian Maguire, will miss the Cheltenham Festival after breaking a vertebra in a crashing fall

Adrian Maguire, who was due to ride Florida Pearl in Thursday’s ToteCheltenham Gold Cup, misses the Cheltenham Festival for an incredible fourth time.

The Irishman broke a vertebra in a crashing fall from Luzcadou at Warwick on Saturday. He was taken to Warwick General Hospital before being transferred to Coventry’s Walsgrave Hospital where he underwent a bone-graft operation on Sunday.

Maguire is expected to be out of action for three to four months and will have to wear a “halo” brace for two months, according to the Jockey Club’s medical adviser, Dr Michael Turner.

Maguire, 30, won the 1992 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Cool Ground. During the 1990s he had to sit out the Festival following the sudden death of his mother and then he was sidelined twice due to injury.

Irish trainer Willie Mullins is not rushing to find a replacement for Florida Pearl.

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