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Russell to miss Gold Cup with punctured lung

ESPN staff
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Davy Russell tasted victory on Sir Des Champs in last year's Jewson Novices' Chase © PA Photos
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Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup second favourite Sir Des Champs' ride is up for grabs after it was confirmed jockey Davy Russell will miss the Festival's feature race following a heavy fall on Wednesday.

Russell suffered a puncture in his lung after being kicked following a fall from Un Beau Matin at the final hurdle in Wednesday's Coral Cup.

The jockey, who rode Lord Windermere to victory in Wednesday's RSA Chase, was fit enough to ride his first two mounts on Thursday, but a tweet from Cheltenham racecourse stated the injured jockey had been taken to Cheltenham General hospital - later confirmed by Sir Des Champs' owner Michael O'Leary.

Cheltenham Racecourse tweeted: "Update: Davy Russell has suffered a spontaneous punctured lung. He has been treated at the course and is off to hospital.

"He is being accompanied by our senior Doctor & is expected to stay in overnight for observation. Our best wishes to Davy."

It is a bitter blow for Russell, who rode the Willie Mullins-trained horse to victory in last year's Jewson Novices' Chase.

Trainer Mullins will now search for a replacement jockey, with a decision expected on Friday morning.

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