The Australian horseracing community has once again been rocked after a third major fall in Melbourne in three weeks.
In the Listed Abell Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, Florescent Star appeared to clip the heels of The Boat at the final turn in a horrific incident.
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Both Florescent Star and its rider Teo Nugent came down with the mare suffering fatal injuries requiring euthanasia. Florescent Star fell over the racetrack barrier after she fell headfirst into the turf.
Nugent was reportedly knocked out for three to four minutes after he was seemingly trampled as he fell.
The Victorian Jockeys Association revealed initial scans revealed Nugent has a fracture to his C1.
Nugent was treated on course by medics and stretchered off the course before being taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital.
“Teo Nugent will be transported to hospital for further examination,” a Racing Victoria spokesperson said. “Teo’s conscious and chatting to medical staff. He has movement in his limbs.”
Trainer Dave Eustace, who has used Nugent’s services as a jockey, was on the scene and said the 24-year-old appeared to be okay.
“I don’t want to speak out of turn, but initial signs seem OK,” Eustace said. “He was out for three or four minutes and then came around. He’s obviously very groggy.
“Limbs look OK and he’s responding to communication. It looks like he’s got a fairly nasty bruise on his head.”
Florescent Star’s trainers Amy and Ash Yargi tweeted: “We are devastated. We love you Flo”.
Racing Victoria added: “RV extends its condolences to the owners of Florescent Star, trainers Amy and Ash Yargi, their stable staff and all who cared for the horse throughout her career and are greatly saddened by their loss following her fall at The Valley.”
Jockey Harry Coffey, who won the race, paid tribute to his fallen colleague.
“Thoughts to Teo and obviously the horse’s connections that he was on,” Coffey said.
“That looked a bit yuck, and I was following Teo, and it’s amazing how racing works; if my filly had have jumped cleaner, which we would have liked to do, we could have been in his spot instead of a pair further back.
“That’s the way racing goes, it’s all about luck.”
The main event of the day — the All-Star Mile — was delayed until 5pm AEDT after the incident.
It continues a horrific run for Victorian racing Jamie Kah and Craig Williams were hospitalised last week following a race fall, a week after jockeys Ethan Brown and Mark Zahra also fell at Flemington.
Brown suffered a lacerated liver and kidney problems after the fall, which was compounded after his horse rolled over him.
Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Craig Williams sustained a fractured collarbone, broken ribs fractured finger and concussion as his mount, Dubenenko, tripped over Kah’s fallen horse but was discharged the following night.
Doctors cleared Kah of any skull fractures or brain injury but sedated her to give the brain time to rest.
An update from family members on Wednesday afternoon said: “Jamie is recovering well and is ready to be transferred to one of the RMH (Royal Melbourne Hospital) wards.”
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