Racing: Ills and spills

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The Independent Online
PAT EDDERY'S chance of winning the Ritz Club Charity Trophy for the leading rider at the Goodwood meeting evaporated before racing began yesterday. The reigning champion jockey was taken to hospital early in the morning with abdominal pains, and though X- rays and tests revealed nothing amiss, Eddery will not ride again until Tuesday.

Eddery's agent, Terry Ellis, said: 'He woke up at 5.30 in terrible pain, and thought he might have appendicitis. He went to the local hospital and was given painkillers.' Eddery is now resting at home.

His absence from Goodwood, where he had ridden four winners earlier in the week but had to give up seven rides yesterday, gave the season's leading jockey, Lanfranco Dettori, a clear run at the Ritz Club Trophy, which he won for the first time. In addition to his four winners, Dettori collected seven second places, including four yesterday, to Eddery's one.

Battered jockeys were a feature of the five-day meeting and yesterday one of them, Jimmy Quinn, stood himself down but defended his riding of Jawaal, the narrowly beaten favourite in Thursday's Schweppes Golden Mile. Quinn was badly bruised when Haitham fell fatally on the first day but, though he was passed fit to ride Jawaal, he came in for much criticism after the race.

He was given the day off by the course doctor on Friday, and voluntarily gave up the fancied ride on Agwa (finished 18th) in yesterday's Stewards' Cup. He said: 'I feel good; there is still some bruising but I have been passed fit by my own doctor. But Agwa was backed, just as Jawaal was, and I felt the criticism might have got worse if he did not run well.' Quinn intends to return to action on Wednesday at Nottingham 'where there are no TV cameras and less publicity'.

The sport on the Sussex Downs had everything: top- class horses, competitive racing, drama, controversy and sunny skies. The falls of Quinn, Michael Kinane, Wendyll Woods and, particularly, Lester Piggott, and the sad death of old Haitham were a reminder of the risks of the sport. But the pulsating finish between Distant View and Barathea for the milers' crown, the bravery and determination shown by Broadway Flyer and Tioman Island, and the heroine's return of Lochsong were enough to keep the glorious in Goodwood.

And yesterday the meeting ended in heart-warming fashion when one of the back-room boys of the sport had his moment. Six-year-old Mellaby, a million-guinea yearling in his day but hardly a million-dollar racehorse, won his first race for three years. But there is more to racing than the public sees, and for several seasons Mellaby has played a vital role as a reliable lead horse to the stars in Michael Stoute's team. The trainer, patting the chestnut affectionately, said: 'We take him to the races now and again to give him a bit of fun.'

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