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Top jockeys in court

Grand National winning jockey Mick Fitzgerald and Adrian Maguire are being sued for negligence in the High Court in Manchester by fellow jockey Peter Caldwell.

It is alleged their actions in a race at Hexham in 1994 caused Caldwell to break his back in a fall. Caldwell, 36, has not ridden since.

A video was shown in court of the two-mile hurdle in which Caldwell, riding Fion Corn, was brought down by Royal Citizen, partnered by Derek Byrne.

Lord Brennan, QC, alleged that the fallwas caused by a manoeuvre in which Fitzgerald and Maguire rode their mounts across the path of Royal Citizen.

Both Fitzgerald and Maguire received three-day suspensions from the local Hexham stewards who found them guilty of careless riding in theincident.

Seven-times champion jockey John Francome, a TV commentator with Channel 4 Racing, gave expert evidence on behalf of Caldwell. He said that what Fitzgerald and Maguire did was without malice, adding: “crossing over without being clear isunacceptable”.

Fitzgerald admitted that he had no idea Byrne was on his inside and said he felt no contact with his horse.

The case continues.

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