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."
25 August 2014Void race drama at Epsom
Haydock on Extortionist radar
Palmer eyes Solario for Aktabantay
Kenny receives upbeat prognosis
Murphy aims high with dynamic duo
Euphrasia camp assess options
No rush on Thunder return
Pankhurst makes a stand in Solario
Toast team proud in defeat
Light passes Trial test
Glen shows Curragh sparkle
Ansgar strikes in Goodwood raid
Ribbons cuts down Romanet field
Frankie has Wow factor
Intrinsic returns dirty scope
No hurry for Cookie target
Doncaster date for Seal
Gatsby set for Australia rematch
24 August 2014Weld preparing Champions team
Hanagan admits Tag disappointment
Spencer 'might' return one day
Ribbons back for Group One test
Ascot aces collide in Morny
Ainippe in Cheveley Park reckoning
Kazeem in Winter wonderland
Murtagh magic rubs off on Steward
Celebration time for Johnston
Muhaarar pounces in Gimcrack
Gallant Doyle in Melrose drama
Malabar books ticket to big time
Custom made to measure
23 August 2014Light leading Trial field
Jamesie on top in thriller
Convergence takes Futurity test
Niven boxing Clever in Ebor
Shea Shea bows out
Enterprise likely for Eagle
Atzeni new Qatar number one
Hughes flicks Power switch
Ab fab in Listed contest
Mimosa clinches Cup glory
Glenard comes good at York
Fiddes living dream in Gimcrack
Kazeem in Winter wonderland
Cat camp wary of 'bounce'
22 August 2014Telescope going international
Byron well versed for Renaissance
Punters' Pall ready for Ebor
Great War out of Gimcrack
Reserves denied Ebor run
Applause sent to the Tower
McCoy records fastest century
Tapestry weaves Taghrooda downfall
Spencer to hang up riding boots
Mukhadram 'sore' after York
Slade 'unlikely' to run at Haydock
Tiggy takes Lowther by storm
Haggas strikes again at York
Signs good for big Estimate run
Power chases Nunthorpe double
Yar makes Ebor cut