Concussion delays crowning

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The Independent Online
Richard Dunwoody will collect his award for retaining the National Hunt Jockeys' Championship at Windsor on Monday night.

Dunwoody, titleholder for the last three years, was due to receive the award before riding at Stratford last night, but had to give up his rides at the meeting following a fall at Hereford on Thursday.

The jockey was stood down for 24 hours by the course doctor after his mount in the selling chase fell at the 11th fence, leaving him with mild concussion.

Dunwoody's agent, Robert Parsons, said yesterday: "Richard has decided to take things quietly and will not be going to Stratford. He will see how he feels in the morning before deciding whether or not to ride tomorrow."

The curtain falls on the National Hunt season today and Dunwoody begins the next season, which commences with summer jumping at Perth next week, having parted company with the trainer Martin Pipe.

"Richard may take the odd ride on the summer circuit before taking his holiday in July," Parsons said. "He is to move house shortly and plans to ride in Saratoga in August."

Darryll Holland, who hopes to be off to Hong Kong in five months' time, yesterday denied rumours of a rift with the Middleham trainer Mark Johnston.

Holland said: "I confirm that I hope to ride in Hong Kong from 12 November, which is at the end of the current turf season. This is pending the approval of the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club licensing committee."

Holland stressed that plans for the 1996 season had not yet been fully discussed but said that he was very happy concerning his relationship with Johnston, with whom he has a gentleman's agreement to act as retained jockey.

The 22-year-old jockey, who has been in sparkling form with nine winners from 32 rides in the past fortnight, added: "I would like to stress that Mr and Mrs Johnston have been very supportive of me, especially so during the first few weeks of the season when the horses were slightly below par, and they have both helped me to settle into Middleham.

"Their stable is a top-class training establishment with which I shall always wish to be associated, both now and in the future. Right now, my aim is to ride as many winners as possible during the turf season."