'Really bad': Horse racing rocked by 'horrifying' incident

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Sam Waley-Cohen, pictured here falling at Sandown Races.
Sam Waley-Cohen came down heavily after Igor fell. Image: Getty

Just days after a seventh death at the Melbourne Cup in the last eight years, horse racing has been rocked by another terrifying incident.

Competing at Sandown Park in the UK on Saturday, jockey Sam Waley-Cohen was kicked in the face by a horse after his mount fell while hurdling a jump.

BRUTAL: Hugh Bowman suspended in fresh controversy

‘ASSAULT’: Fan's 'disgusting' act in Melbourne Cup live cross

Riding the Nicky Henderson-trained Igor in the Guildford Novices' Handicap Chase, Waley-Cohen came down heavily and was kicked in the face by Flegmatik.

Miraculously, the jockey and horse both avoided serious injury.

Igor fell while trying to hurdle the second-last jump, sending Waley-Cohen tumbling off his horse.

Waley-Cohen - a dentist and businessman who actually owns the horse - landed heavily before narrowly avoiding disaster by millimetres as Flegmatik came barrelling over the top of him.

Sam Waley-Cohen, pictured here being kicked in the face by Flegmatik.
Sam Waley-Cohen was kicked in the face by Flegmatik. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

“Jesus, glad to see Sam Waley Cohen is up on his feet after that,” one punter wrote on social media.

“That looked nasty! Thank god for that!”

Another wrote: “Glad Sam Waley-Cohen's alright, that could have been really bad.”

Sevarano went on the win the race, with Mahlervous in second place.

Racing Victoria investigating Melbourne Cup death

Racing Victoria officials will launch a thorough investigation into the death of Melbourne Cup runner Anthony Van Dyck once post mortem results on the horse are complete.

The 2019 Epsom Derby winner suffered a catastrophic leg injury during the final stages of Tuesday's race and despite attempts by veterinarians to save him, he was euthanised.

Jamie Stier, RV's executive general manager of integrity services, told Melbourne's RSN radio the horse's death had cast a pall over Cup day.

“Everyone at Racing Victoria, and I know the VRC (Victoria Racing Club) as well from speaking with them yesterday, are deeply moved by the loss of yet another horse in the Melbourne Cup,” Stier told RSN.

The death of Anthony Van Dyck follows that of another Aidan O'Brien-trained horse, Cliffofmoher, who was euthanised after he broke down during the 2018 Melbourne Cup.

The stable also lost Wichita this spring after he fractured a leg at the Werribee training centre while preparing for a spring carnival bid.

Sam Waley-Cohen, pictured here moments before the terrifying fall.
Sam Waley-Cohen (L) fell when Igor tripped while hurdling a jump. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

RV conducted a review into Werribee following the demise of Cliffsofmoher and found the facility did not contribute to his injury.

Stier said Werribee hosted race meetings when it wasn't being used as a quarantine facility and had not had a racing fatality for seven years.

RV has also improved its pre-testing requirements for international horses in a bid to identify and rule out any who could be at risk of injury.

“We've enhanced the pre-export requirements over in Europe and overseas generally regarding the suitability of the horses to travel,” Stier said.

“They had x-rays done before they came and the x-rays were thoroughly reviewed and as a consequence of that practice, along with the other requirements of videos and reports from stable vets and an independent regulatory vet, it did lead to one horse not travelling.”

Anthony Van Dyck had 58.5kg in the Melbourne Cup, an impost no horse has carried to victory since Think Big in 1975.

While Stier said there was no evidence the horse’s weight was a factor in his injury, he said it would be looked at, along with the impact of the firm track conditions at Flemington.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.