Racing: Nick Dundee makes progress after surgery

NICK DUNDEE was described as "comfortable" after undergoing surgery at Ridgeway Valley Equine Hospital in Lambourn yesterday. The Irish-trained chaser was operated on after sustaining a serious injury to his fetlock joint when falling at the third last fence in the Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday.

A hospital spokesman said: "He is back in his box, is comfortable and is eating. There is a long way to go, and he'll be with us for some time, but we are happy with his progress."

The seven-year-old, trained by Eddie O'Grady, was judged to be the rising star of Irish racing before his career-threatening injury.

Water jumps, due to be removed at several courses because of the high rate of injuries they cause, lost one of their number when Fontwell's water obstacle was jumped for the last time yesterday. Nearby Plumpton's will follow after its Bank Holiday meeting on 5 April.

Crystal Charm will not be able to pursue a reported plan to bring her back to Britain from Hong Kong for the 1,000 Guineas. The filly, an impressive winner at Sha Tin on her debut in Hong Kong last Sunday, is not among the 83 fillies entered in the Newmarket race.

Windsor's Flat-season opening meeting tomorrow has been abandoned because of waterlogging.

Royal Ascot is to change the name of the Bessborough Stakes to the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes. It is the first race-name change at the meeting since 1973 when the New Stakes was renamed the Norfolk Stakes.

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