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RACING: Jockeys fall drama.


JOCKEYS Kevin Darley, Eddie Ahern and apprentice Chris Ely were lucky to avoid serious injury in a frightening pile-up at Ayr yesterday.

Ely's mount Rosselli appeared to clip the heels of another horse on the home turn in the Sharp Minds Betfair : Back And Lay Classified Stakes at Ayr and crashed heavily to the ground. As a result Atlantic Quest (Darley) and Manaar (Ahern) came down.

Sadly, Rosselli, a winner of four races including the 1998 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and owned and trained by Alan Berry, sustained a broken hind leg and was put down. Ely sustained an ankle injury and was taken to Ayr Hospital for precautionary X-rays.

Ahern said: "We could not avoid the other horse but luckily I had a soft fall, I could see something was going to happen and my fellow actually jumped over the faller but then came down on landing.

"I am all right - and so is Manaar, I was able to ride him back to the stables bareback, but I just hope the fall hasn't harmed his confidence."

Darley said: "We were brought down, there was nothing we could do but I am all right and so is the horse."

There was an inquiry into the incident, and stipendiary steward Phil Tuck said: "Rosselli changed legs and clipped the heels of Obrigado."

Obrigado, trained by William Haggas, went on to win the race under a tremendous ride from Darryll Holland who forced him up to catch Winning Venture in the last few strides to win by a neck.

Darley showed he was none the worse for the fall when he won the following Sharp Minds Phone 0870 90 80 121 Handicap on Gone Too Far who Peter Monteith trains for champion jumps owner David Johnson.

Monteith said: "I have three horses for Mr Johnson and Gone Too Far has also won over fences for us. Unfortunately he went up 17lb to 127 after he won at Hexham and although he has been dropped 2lb after being beaten at Perth he is too highly rated for summer chasing now."

Karl Burke's Harry Potter landed some good wagers when he took the concluding Sharp Minds Betfair : Bet In Running Handicap under Darren Williams with six lengths to spare.

Burke said: "Harry Potter is owned by soccer player Francis Jeffers and Steve Cleveley and they have both backed him, he was about 20-1 I think, so they will be happy."

Michael Dods is really making hay both on and off course and he struck again when Zhitomir (13-2), won the Sharp Minds Betfair Selling Stakes in the hands of Shane Kelly.

Kelly drove Zhitomir (retained without a bid) up on the rails to collar Kieren Fallon's mount Zahunda in the closing stages and beat him by half a length with the favourite Wares Home one and a quarter lengths away in third.

This was Dods's 19th winner of the season but he was at his Piercebridge, North Yorkshire base, gathering in the hay.

Cheshire trainer Alan Bailey had the 'double' up as he watched Lennel (11-2) show the way home under Ryan Moore in the Sharp Minds Betfair : Back And Lay Classified Stakes.

Bailey also owns Lennel, and he said: "I bought this horse for Willie Mackay (football agent) but he did not want him - and I am glad he didn't want him because we landed three 'touches' with him last season.

"I thought he would win and he will probably win a couple now, he comes to himself at this time of year."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 21, 2004
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