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Champion Hurdle contender Darlan suffers fatal fall

National Hunt racing was saddened today (Monday 4 February) when Darlanone of the favourites for next month’s Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival — suffered a fatal fall.

Darlan, who was trained by Nicky Henderson, was running in the 32Red Hurdle at Doncaster, a trial for the Cheltenham race, when he fell at the last.

The six-year-old, who was owned by JP McManus, reportedly died instantly, breaking his neck.

He had won six times from eight starts. His last win was on Boxing Day in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park.

Jockey AP McCoy was uninjured in the fall but gave up his remaining rides of the day.

The race was won by last year’s Champion Hurdle victor, Rock On Ruby.

Camilla Henderson, daughter of Nicky, tweeted: “Such a sad day for everyone at Seven Barrows and the McManus family. Truly gutting, heart wrenched, words cannot describe this sad loss.”

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