Cheltenham: Robert Thornton set to miss Festival and rest of season

Leading jockey Robert Thornton is set to miss the Cheltenham Festival and the remainder of the jump racing season.

The 34-year-old, nicknamed 'Choc', said on Twitter:  "Few tests yesterday, not great news looks like I'll be missing the rest of the season."

Thornton suffered a fall when riding Our Phylli Vera for his boss, trainer Alan King, at Southwell on Monday.

Robert 'Choc' Thornton

  • Born 14 July 1978 in Darlington
  • Began competing full time in 1996/1997 riding 71 winners in that season alone
  • Had his most successful season to date in 2007/2008 winning 105 of his 597 races
  • Top jockey at Cheltenham in 2007 riding four winners
  • Secured his 1000th career win in 2011 despite having a season disrupted by injury

He was leading rider at the Festival in 2007 and won the Champion Hurdle a year later on Katchit.

"When I spoke to him last night I realised things were pretty bad," said King, who is based at Barbury Castle, near Wroughton, Wiltshire.

"After the fall we all thought he was just badly bruised, but the scan has obviously said otherwise.

"I'm not entirely sure what the injury is, I believe he's done something to his arm.

"We'll get by, but I just feel so sorry for Choc (Thornton). "We're all absolutely gutted for him