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Connections are 'heartbroken' following news that Champion Bumper hero Fayonagh has suffered a shock fatal injury in training this afternoon.
Gordon Elliott's six-year-old established herself as the leading bumper horse last season, with impressive victories in her division at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festival.
She looked to have progressed even further this season, when cruising to a comfortable two-and-a-half length success on her novice hurdling debut at Fairyhouse.
She had been one of the shortest priced favourites at the next Festival in March 2018, with some bookmakers installing her as low as 3-1 to win the Mares' Novice Hurdle; whilst the Supreme and Neptune were also options to the super mare.
"I'm devastated to announce that Fayonagh broke a hind leg this morning while doing a routine piece of work under Davy Russell at Skryne gallops and had to be put-down," Elliott told his Betfair blog.
"As a dual Grade one winning mare she was an exceptional talent and the sky was the limit with her.
"Needless to say, we are all heartbroken and our thoughts are with the connections at this time."
Her Cheltenham success boosted popular amateur jockey Jamie Codd into the headlines, as the Irish rider steered her through plenty of traffic to come from last to first to land Champion Bumper glory.
The world of racing is saddened by the loss of Fayonagh, who undoubtedly had the potential to be an exceptional hurdler and chaser in time.