Jockeys injured at Fakenham

Tony McCoy gave his army of followers plenty to cheer at Fakenham after a day when three of his rivals ended up in hospital.

Tony McCoy gave his army of followers plenty to cheer at Fakenham after a day when three of his rivals ended up in hospital.

While the champion jockey was able to celebrate a 33-1 treble, Adam Pogson, Stephen Craine and Mark Nicolls all suffered injuries - Pogson's worrying enough for him to be airlifted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with a suspected fractured pelvis.

Craine was taken by road ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn for a precautionary look at his back while Nicolls went to the Norfolk and Norwich awith suspected concussion.

McCoy's good day began with Gaelic Flight giving a faultless jumping performance to provide his opening winner of the day by six lengths in the Rex Memorial Handicap Chase.

The 3-1 shot was never in danger, despite close attention from Strong Magic, to record the geldings first win over fences.

The champion's second winner was aboard Predator, for his trainer Jonjo O`Neill, in the feature race, the Geoff Hubbard Memorial Novices' Chase.

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Taking up the running with a circuit to go, McCoy never was always cruising and ran out an easy winner from the course specialist, Cool Roxy, who finished a gallant second - jumping well throughout.

The treble was completed when Bajan Sunshine justified favouritism with an impressive two-length win on his hurdling debut in the Novices' Hurdle at 4.20.

McCoy only had to ask the gelding the question following two flights out and the contest was over in a matter of seconds, with Bajan Sunshine being eased down to finish two lengths clear of the 66-1 shot, the Matt Gingell-trained Captain Smoothy, who deserves special mention for a cracking run and should be watched next time out.

The afternoon got under way with Conditional Jockeys Selling Handicap Hurdle, which went to the 11-1 shot, Escobar.

Ridden off the pace for the first circuit, the five-year-old gelding was sent into front with two flights to go by jockey, Liam Treadwell, and ran out a comfortable winner by eight lengths.

Escobar's trainer, Mrs Pru Townsley, was delighted to pick up her first winner in 532 days, saying: “We quietly fancied him today, as he has been working well at home, and would be looking to bring him back her in the future.”

In the subsequent auction, there were no bids for the winner.

The race was marred by injuries to jockeys Steven Craine and Adam Pogson. The incident occurred in front of the grandstand on the second circuit, when Cadueax Rouge and Craine fell, bringing down Protocol and Pogson, in the process.

While on the ground, both jockeys were kicked and required medical treatment.

Racing was delayed for 30 minutes while they were taken to hospital - Pogson by air ambulance to the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital with suspected pelvic injuries while Craine was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by road for precautionary X-rays on his back.

Testament must be paid the racecourse staff and medical team for acting so quickly.

In the other races, Blushing Prince was a surprise 25-1 winner of the NGK Spark Plugs Handicap Hurdle at 3.15.

The Richard Guest-trained gelding travelled well throughout before taking up the running at the second last flight to run away with the contest by an impressive six lengths.

Herecomestanley, won an eventful Birthday Handicap Chase at 4.55, where only four of the nine horses finished.

The 3-1 favourite took up the running after the last open ditch and ran away with the race to win by a distance from Miss Wizadora in second place.

This race saw another jockey, Mark Nicolls, taken to the Norfolk & Norwich by ambulance, in his case with suspected concussion .

The eventful afternoon finished with a victory for the Nicky Henderson-trained, Ship's Hill, by two lengths from My Turn Now in the National Hunt Bumper at 5.25.

The next meeting at Fakenham is on Tuesday, November 14, with the first race of at 1pm.