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The horse racing world has reacted with shock after a jockey was was riding a horse owned by the late Shane Warne was fortunate to escape a terrifying fall uninjured on Wednesday.
Hearts were in mouths in the moments after a terrifying incident at the Ipswich Turf Club, in which Sacred Oath jockey Ryan Maloney was sent crashing to the track after interference from rival runners.
'UNLIKE HIM': Shane Warne's unusual move hours before death
A heavy favourite in race 2 on Wednesday for David Vandyke, Sacred Oath's inside run along the barriers was disrupted by interference at the first corner from eventual race winner Tesaura, along with The Grey Panther.
Sacred Oath and Maloney were sandwiched against the barrier when Tesaura dived down the inside from the centre of the track.
Ambulance crews treated Maloney at the scene, but he was eventually able to walk back under his own power.
“I just blacked out for a bit when I hit the deck,” he said after the race.
Reports from News Corp suggested managing owner of Sacred Oath, Jarred Magnabosco, later confronted Tasaura jockey Ben Thompson in the mounting yard.
Vandyke was understandably shaken after the incident, saying he would leave any action to the stewards.
“I will leave it up to the stewards to work out, I am too emotionally charged by the whole incident," he said.
“I never want to see that footage again.”
Sacred Oath boasts a number of high-profile part owners, including actor Shane Jacobson, AFL commentator Hamish McLachlan and former Hawthorn star Campbell Brown.
— Michael Atkinson (@kinson88) March 9, 2022
What an absolute shame about Sacred Oath at Ipswich
I hope Ryan Maloney is ok after that fall.
— Higgo (@Higgo74) March 9, 2022
Earlier in the week, Vandyke had spoken about the shock of Warne's sudden passing over the weekend and their hopes of getting a fitting victory.
“I think we are all in shock over it really,” he said.
Tributes continue to flow for Shane Warne
The aforementioned Campbell Brown tweeted before the race in Ipswich about his hopes for a win to honour Warne.
“Want this win more than a Group 1 today," Brown wrote.
"We won’t be together to watch it but let’s cheer this one home King.”
Warne's widespread impact on the sporting world has been keenly felt this week, with high-profile athletes from a variety of sports paying tribute to the late spin bowling great.
While he was well known for his fondness of racing, Warne was also once made an appearance for St Kilda's VFL reserves, and held a long-lasting love for the Saints even as his cricketing skills quickly outgrow those he had with a football.
Warne's body is expected to be transferred back from Thailand to Australia on Tuesday after an autopsy confirmed he had died of natural causes.
The news came as Warne's family spoke for the first time, with his parents, brother, three children and ex-wife leading tributes to the cricket legend.
In a moving statement, Warne's parents Keith and Brigitte said life without their son was "inconceivable", while youngest daughter Summer yearned for "more family holidays" together.
"Dad, I miss you so much already. I wish I could've hugged you tighter in what I didn't know were my final moments with you. And your final breaths were only moments away," Summer, 20, said in the Warne's family statement released on Monday night.
"I wish I could've told you that everything was going to be okay and hold your hand. You are the best Dad someone could ever ask for.
"Our time was robbed. I want more holidays with you, more laughs where your smile lights up the whole room.
"More "good night I love you SJ, I'll see you in the morning", more talks about how our days were and just to feel safe when you would hug me and you would let me know how proud you are of me and how much you love me.
"You haven't died Dad, you've just moved to a different place, and that is in our hearts. I love you forever, until we meet again."
Warne's 22-year-old son Jackson described his father as his "brother, my best friend".
"Dad, I love you so much. I don't think anything is ever going to fill the void you have left in my heart," he said.
"Sitting at the poker table, walking around the golf course, watching the Saints and eating pizza is never going to be the same. But I know all you ever wanted for me is to be happy, no matter what.
"You just wanted me to be happy, that's it. So that's what I'm going to do, try and be happy.
"I am going to miss you so much Dad and you were truly the best father and mate anyone could've asked for. I love you so much Dad, see you soon."
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