Sometimes we all need a helping hand in life and, on Saturday (27 November), that’s exactly what National Hunt jockey Fergus Gillard received.
Riding in the Watch Racing Free Online At Ladbrokes Handicap Chase (for the Jim Joel Memorial Trophy) at Newbury Racecourse, Fergus Gillard – a conditional jockey based at David Pipe’s yard in Somerset – looked in a decidedly precarious position when his mount, Star Max, blundered badly at the fifth obstacle, almost depositing his rider on to the turf.
Thankfully, Fergus’ weighing room compatriot, Harry Skelton was close at hand and quick thinking when he saw his fellow jockey looked very near to falling off. Once Harry’s mount, Eclair D’Ainay had also cleared the fifth fence, Harry reached over to give Fergus a helpful shove back into the saddle.
Sadly Eclair D’Ainay, who is a seven-year-old son of Network, owned by John Hales and trained by Harry’s brother Dan Skelton, was pulled up after clearing the eighth fence when he dropped to the rear of the field.
However Star Max, who is a six-year-old trained by David Pipe and owned by Pipe’s Prospectors, continued in the race and went on to finish in 10th place.
Il Ridoto, who is trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by Giles, Hogarth, Mason and McGoff, won the race under Harry Cobden, while the Heather Main-trained Numitor finished second under Tom Scudamore.
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