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Hitchcott suffers broken collar-bone

Ben Hitchcott`s challenge for the 2000/1 amateur jumps jockeys` title in Britain may be over after it was confirmed that the rider broke his collar-bone in a fall at Exeter on Wednesday.

The young rider, who is set to turn professional in the coming months, took a crashing fall from Real Value in the Winton Bloodstock Handicap Chase and was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

X-rays taken there confirmed that he had broken a collar-bone, an injury which leaves him with virtually no chance of keeping up with Tom Scudamore in the title race.

He is currently tying with Scudamore on 21 winners for the championship, which ends on June 2nd.

Hitchcott admitted today that he has to balance his desire to return to the saddle as quickly as possible with the need to ensure that his injury heals properly.

'The X-rays confirmed that I had broken my left collar-bone,' he said.

'Apparently it`s not as bad as it could be, it`s quite a clean break so I`ve got it strapped up and then in a week`s time, they`ll have a look and see how it`s going.

'I`d like to think I could be back in three weeks` time but everyone is telling me not to rush so I will wait until it is properly knitted back together.

'I don`t want to have another bump and risk anything longer-term.'

Hitchcott intends to turn professional as soon as the amateurs` championship ends in a month`s time.

'I will stay with Gardie Grissell when I change licences, I`m very happy working there.

'I know that this is probably going to mean the end of my chance to take the title and it`s frustrating as all I can do is sit and read the paper and watch the racing on television.

'But I`m just hoping the injury sorts itself out quickly so I can get back and try and catch Tom up!'