Racing: Fall ends Darley challenge

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The Independent Online
KEVIN DARLEY'S unexpected challenge for the Flat

title has come to a sudden end. The jockey broke his left collarbone in a fall at La Zarzuela, Madrid, on Sunday just half an hour after winning the Premio Villamejor (Spanish St Leger) on Laguna.

'It happened just one stride out of the stalls,' Darley's wife, Debby, said yesterday. 'The horse tripped, Kevin fell and landed on his shoulder. He thought he was all right but when he moved his arm he felt the pain.'

On Saturday evening, after a success at Catterick, Darley was 22 winners behind Pat Eddery in the jockeys' table. Though collarbones can heal relatively swiftly, the injury means that Eddery is now certain to reclaim the jockeys' title which he lost to Michael Roberts last year (Lanfranco Dettori, third in the list, is almost 30 winners adrift).

Darley, though, does still have one target to aim at: Saturday's win, his 137th success of the season, equalled Edward Hide's record total for a northern-based rider and Darley is keen to claim the record outright before the Flat turf season ends on 8 November.

Eddery's Sunday was spent in Canada, where he steered Khalid Abdullah's Regency into third in the Woodbine International. The easy winner was Husband, trained in France by John Fellows and ridden by Cash Asmussen.

Husband, third behind Snurge at Deauville in August, could have been bought in recent weeks by anyone with dollars 800,000 to spare. 'I've been trying to sell him all year, but my price has always been higher than what anybody's been willing to pay,' Peggy Augustus, his owner, said. 'It's higher now.'

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