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Leg break agony for top rider Cooper.

Byline: GARRY OWEN

TOP JOCKEY Bryan Cooper has suffered a broken leg on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival.

The rider sustained a tibia and fibula break after suffering a bad fall from Clarcam in the Fred Winter.

Eddie O'Leary racing manager to Cooper's employers Gigginstown Stud later reported that Brian O'Connell will now partner Last Instalment in Friday's Gold Cup.

Conditional rider Josh Hamer also suffered a broken collarbone after being brought down on Akdam who had to be put down after fracturing a foreleg.

There was a further equine fatality as Stack The Deck was fatally injured after pulling up in the closing bumper.

Meanwhile, Ruby Walsh has clarified his views after reports he claimed horses were expendable following the death of Our Conor.

Last season's Triumph hero was put down after sustaining a back injury when falling in Tuesday's Champion Hurdle.

On Monday, Walsh's weighing-room colleague Jason Maguire was badly injured in a fall at Stratford.

Walsh said: "You can make too much of winning here. This morning was a cold and timely reminder with Jason Maguire.

"There's a lot more to life than riding winners at Cheltenham. It's a big week but there's more to life."

Following the fall of Our Conor, newspapers quoted Walsh as saying: "Horses are horses. You can replace a horse.

"It's sad, but horses are animals, outside your back door. Humans are humans. "You can replace a horse. You can't replace a human being. That's my feeling on the matter."

The comments sparked a furious response from animal welfare activists but Walsh felt his view had been misinterpreted.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 13, 2014
Words:267
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