Sport

Top jockey Harry Cobden needs surgery after breaking cheekbone at Aintree and is OUT for the rest of the season

TOP jockey Harry Cobden has been ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his cheekbone in a horror fall at Aintree on Saturday.

The rider, who is currently third in the jockeys' standings behind defending champ Brian Hughes and odds-on favourite Harry Skelton, will undergo surgery later this week.


He has enjoyed plenty of big-race success for his boss Paul Nicholls this winter, winning Grade 1s on Bravemansgame, Clan Des Obeaux and Monmiral.

And he had an outside chance of winning a first jockeys' title going into the final two weeks of the season, albeit he was a longshot being 14 winners behind Hughes with 11 days to go.

But he announced on Twitter that he would miss the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign – and wished his title rivals luck on the run-in.

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He said: "Hi everyone, I wanted to give you all an update on my injury from my fall at Aintree on Saturday.

"I went for further scans yesterday, and unfortuately, they have shown that I have got a couple of fractures in my right cheekbone.

"I am having an operation on Thursday, but I am out for the rest of the season (likely to be six weeks).

"Good luck to both Brian and Harry in the Champion Jump Jockey title race. I look forward to hopefully challenging you both again next season and I hope that next season also welcomes people back onto racecourses."

Skelton, who has 136 winners, is the 4-9 favourite with Betfair for a first jockeys' title and is currently one winner behind Hughes, who is 13-8 to defend his crown.

Cobden was knocked out in Saturday's horror fall aboard Lucky One, and he was helped into a nearby ambulance by fellow jockey Jonjo O'Neill Jr.

He was forced to miss his ride on Give Me A Copper in the Grand National as a result, but the horse never figured and was pulled up.

Nicholls' other stable jockey, Bryony Frost, was also taken to hospital after suffering a heavy fall from Yala Enki in the National itself, though the trainer reported she was 'fine but sore' on Monday.

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