Champion trampled at start : RACING

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Bob Champion, the former jockey turned trainer who won the 1981 Grand National on Aldaniti, was trampled by a horse at Newbury yesterday.

Champion was knocked to the ground as he led up his own horse, Mr Felix, at the start of the chase won by Big Matt. As Champion released Mr Felix he stepped into the path of Bold Choice, ridden by Jimmy Frost, who lost nearly 20 lengths and all chance of winning in the collision. No false start was called.

"I didn't have a chance to see the horse," Champion said. "My horse jinked half a stride and Jimmy's horse knocked me over. He hurt me too. I got kicked everywhere. I feel bruised and battered, but I've been in the mud before."

Also battered at Newbury were those who have supported Barna Boy for the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He jumped poorly and could finish only third to the Oliver Sherwood-trained Auburn Castle who is now as low as 8-1 with Coral, from 40-1, for the Arkle.

n Plumpton's meeting on Monday is subject to a 10.30 inspection today. Parts of the course are waterlogged.