Lark ascent marred by Hayley Turner's fall


Click to follow
The Independent Online

The second day of the St Leger Festival at Doncaster was marred when jockey Hayley Turner suffered an horrific fall in the DFS Park Hill Stakes.

Turner, who had only just returned to action after breaking an ankle at Yarmouth in July, was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary for further assessment after she was unseated from Seal Of Approval, who clipped heels with Alta Lilea two furlongs from home.

Course officials said the leading female rider was conscious and that she had gone to hospital as a precaution. She is not thought to have suffered any serious injuries from an appalling-looking accident which drew gasps from the grandstand.

Turner's former boss, Michael Bell, was hardly in the mood for celebration after The Lark had won the Group Two Park Hill. The Lady Bamford-owned filly had finished third in the Epsom Oaks on her penultimate start, but had questions to answer following a meek reverse in France in June.

But a combination of the rain-softened Yorkshire turf and a step up to an extended mile and three-quarters clearly had a galvanising effect on the attractive daughter of Pivotal.

Jamie Spencer's companion trotted away from Alta Lilea inside the final furlong and was not hard pressed in accounting for Phiz by a length and a quarter.

Bell said of the 15-8 favourite: "In the Oaks she was a bit unlucky – she got trapped, and Saint-Cloud was a disaster tactically. It's good she has shown what she is capable of.

"There's the Royallieu on Arc weekend, depending on if the ground is suitable, but we may look at the fillies' race at Ascot on Champions Day."

Eleven horses will take part in the St Leger tomorrow, after the final list of confirmed runners for the last Classic race of the Flat season was announced.

Feel Like Dancing, trained by John Gosden, is among three withdrawals for the race that was won last yearby 25-1 shot Encke.

Joseph O'Brien will ride Leading Light, trained by his father Aidan who has won the St Leger on three occasions.

Ryan Moore has been chosen to ride Foundry, the O'Brien team's other runner in the line-up.

David Wachman-trained Galileo Rock will look to make it third time lucky after finishing third in the Epsom Derby on 1 June, and second in the Irish Derby four weeks later.