The popular amateur Irish jockey JT McNamara has been airlefted to hospital after a fall at the Cheltenham Festival left him with serious injuries.

According to reports doctors at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol put McNamara in an induced coma.

The rider was treated by paramedics after his mount Galaxy Rock fell at the first fence in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

McNamara was then flown to Bristol by air ambulance.

Also on Thursday, the racehorse Matuhi suffered was destroyed after falling at the last fence in the Byrne Group Plate and sustaining .

Earlier, jockey Davy Russell was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital with a punctured lung, which rules him out of riding leading contender Sir Des Champs in the Gold Cup on Friday.

The 34-year-old was injured in a fall from Un Beau Matin at the last in Wednesday's Coral Cup.

He had the injury drained in hospital and took up his first two rides on Thursday, but the problems resurfaced and Russell returned to hospital