Connections of Doncaster winner Rock On Ruby were quick to commiserate those linked with Darlan after Nicky Henderson's Christmas Hurdle hero suffered a fatal fall at the final flight in the 32Red Hurdle.
Darlan was travelling powerfully behind Rock On Ruby on the approach to the last and looked the most likely winner but he clipped the top of the obstacle and crashed out.
Rock On Ruby, ridden by Noel Fehily, went on to beat Countrywide Flame by three lengths, but the winning trainer Harry Fry said: "In terms of the race, we didn't want a scenario like that and commiserations to all of Nicky's team and AP (McCoy) and JP (McManus)."
"As far as Ruby is concerned, we've come and he's done the job. He's had a good race and that will bring him on again for the day. He's jumped well enough, not as sharp as he can be, but there's improvement there.
"We can take him home and put the finishing touches on him.
"He's a really tough horse. He joined Countrywide Flame turning into the straight and it's a long way home, but he'll keep galloping and keep finding all day for us.
"The whole season has been built around Cheltenham and hopefully we can go there full of confidence."
Fehily said: "He's done everything we wanted him to do and he'll definitely come on for it. He had a good blow from the back of the last.
"It's obviously disappointing to see the other horse fall like that, but we've been in front plenty long enough and he's idling up the straight.
"He's where we want him going to Cheltenham now. His best form is around Cheltenham and he goes there now with confidence up. If he's good enough on the day, he'll be bang there again."
7 March 2014Exchange rate pays dividend
Temps doubtful for Festival
Lockinge target for Tonto
Conor settles in at Cheltenham
De Bromhead sweet on Special
Epsom to honour St Nick
All set for a super Saturday
Mullins dominates JLT entries
Al and Dynaste top Ryanair field
Big two lead World possibles
Silver aiming to shine
Imperial only thought for Honeyball
Distance fears for Highland
Montiridge preps for Dubai trip
Ayr gets go-ahead
Ayr delay inspection decision
Benbulben misses Cheltenham
Card 'gut wrencher' for Tizzard
Guard stands tall for new record
Faugheen looms over Neptune field
Ballycasey stands firm in RSA
Sire spearheads Queen Mother list
Australia still in Derby shake-up
Henderson perfectly happy with Tent
Regal leads the way in Imperial
6 March 2014McNamara in 'excellent spirits'
Codd snapped up for Sea
Farm National bid in the balance
Byron all set for Aussie challenge
Ayr takes precautions
Bridgwater salutes unsung hero
Murtagh watches on at Lingfield
Mullins retains Fly supporting cast
Bittar welcomes bill amendments
Fenton cleared for Festival runners
Trip concerns sway McCoy to Fishers
Regal vies for Imperial rule
Mullins quintet in Supreme mix
Arkle has Champagne sparkle
Rizeena given dual Guineas options
5 March 2014Bailey praying for rain
Cee Bee supplemented for Champion
Sherwood leaning towards Bartlett
Module to take Queen Mother test
Cee Bee supplemented for Champion
Farr closes in on Winter repeat
Cirrus satisfies Barande-Barbe
Oscar teed up for Bumper raid
Tent 'sound' after injury scare
Sparrow in full flight
Seven shooting straight for Aintree
BHA soothes Mullins security fears
Moore frets over Sea Winter run
Hopes high for Alderwood return
Bolger to make late Gilgamboa call
Nay Never could be a Jersey boy
Guard gallops into record books
Cirrus fourth on Chantilly return
Security on Mullins' mind
Crecy takes Treve pacemaking role
More Of That ride up for grabs
Parade set to swerve Cheltenham
Upbeat Henderson monitoring Tent
Tea team not expecting miracles
4 March 2014Lad aiming to lift Wulfruna prize
Weld waits on Vigil call
Sherwood facing Dan deliberation
Coup was "satisfying", says Curley
Walsh: Annie can go the distance
Hughes at ease with Colonel
Wincanton switch for Artillery
Milan set for hurdles outing
Avenue back on road to Sandown
Fontwell abandons Wednesday card
Saviour likely to miss season
No World bid for Monksland
Braithwaite seeking Dream success