Space hoppers may handle a little differently to horses, but that didn’t stop top jockeys from getting competitive in a charity race.
Some of the leading names in jump racing lined up at Plumpton on 12 February to take part in the fiercely competitive Grand Hop Gold Cup in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF).
Tom Cannon was an early faller — taking a tumble ahead of the start following co-ordinated sabotage by a couple of his weighing room colleagues.
Wocket Woy’s partner in crime Mattie Batchelor was keen to get going, which nearly caused a false start, but after this initial eagerness the field settled and the flag dropped on a clean start.
The race was marked with a high rate of fallers, and several loose space hoppers — and jockeys — threatened to take out the leaders.
Amid the chaos Tom Scudamore broke free from the rabble and bounced into a strong lead.
A forward roll over the line secured a clear 10-hop victory for Tom, while last year’s winner Joshua Moore never really travelled and finished well down the line.
The hoppers were signed by their jockeys and have all been auctioned to raise money for the charity — with the exception of Tom’s winning “ride”, which will be auctioned this week.
The total raised at the IJF race day is still being calculated.
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An IJF spokesman told H&H: “This was the second year we have done the IJF race day at Plumpton and it was a great success, enjoyed by racegoers and the jockeys alike.”
The charity offers help, support and rehabilitation from injury to all jockeys. It has two centres — Jack Berry House in Malton and Oaksey House in Lambourn — with plans for a third base at the British Racing School in Newmaket.
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