Close shave

Click to follow
The Independent Online
The jockeys Seb Sanders and Paul Fessey were lucky to escape serious injury in a horrifying high-speed fall in yesterday's richest race, the William Hill Trophy Handicap at York. With the field clocked at nearly 40 mph, the leader Secret Voucher, ridden by the 5lb claimer Fessey, snapped a foreleg and crashed to the ground.

Amazingly, all of the following horses kept their feet, although several were badly impeded as they scrambled over and past the fatally injured faller. Sanders, unseated from Spotted Eagle, was quickly on his feet but Fessey lay winded for several minutes. Both men were able to walk to the ambulance.

In a driving finish the race went to Mallia, ridden by Lindsay Charnock and trained by David Barron. The 14-1 shot - who paid a staggering 51.4- 1 on the Tote - held on by a short-head from Pleading, with Wildwood Flower, one of the worst sufferers in the melee, a length and a quarter away in third placed. Barely three lengths covered the first seven home in the competitive handicap.

It was a change of luck not only for Barron, based just 20 miles from the course, who had sent out two previous runners-up, but also for Charnock, who starts to serve a 10-day suspension this week.

Sasuru paid his dues to the Derby-winning jockey Michael Hills by winning the Daniel Penn Royal Yorkshire Rated Handicap, quickening well inside the final furlong to beat well-backed favourite Skillington by two and a half lengths. The Geoff Wragg-trained colt had dropped Hills on the Newmarket gallops on the morning of his Epsom triumph on Shaamit and before yesterday's race again tested his rider's horsemanship with a mulish display on the way to post. He will now step up in class to tackle the Group Three Scottish Classic at Ayr next month.

One of racing's Birthday Honours boys, John Dunlop, celebrated his OBE by notching a three-timer. Two-year-old Sahm, triple Classic heroine Salsabil's first son, made a successful debut at York and earlier Conspiracy and Al Shafa had won at Sandown Park.

The afternoon's proceedings at the Esher track also featured the trainer Dick Hern's first Flat winner since Alhaarth won last year's Dewhurst Stakes. The Major sent out Farringdon Hill to win the Surrey Racing Handicap.