Gloss taken off win for Bundy trainer in the Rockhampton Cup
AS BUNDABERG trainer Darryl Gardiner watched the closing stages of the $100,000 Rockhampton Cup (1600m) it felt like his heart would burst out of his chest.
Victory Hotel ($4.60), his stable star and pre-race favourite, was sitting in fifth when two horses and their jockeys fell heavily and another jockey was dislodged at the 900m mark.
After dropping back to ninth, Victory Hotel's hopes seemed dashed but jockey James Orman guided him home on the rails to beat Casion Benjo ($13.00) by 0.1 lengths to win the race and $64,000 winner's cheque.
Gardiner's attention was quickly taken off the race when the severity of the injuries were revealed and he said the fall took the gloss of winning his richest ever race but was still happy to get the victory.
"We were very lucky, Victory Hotel lost three or four lengths but he came up the fence and squeezed through a couple of gaps," Gardiner said.
"When something like that happened it put a scary feeling through you.
"Now, I just hoped the
jockeys were alright."
The fall happened when Power Ranger ridden by Sairyn Fawke, Vandalised Brad Stewart onboard came together heavily and both horses and their mounts crashed to the Callaghan Park turf.
Rockhampton jockey, Adrian Coome tried to avoid the collision and fallen horses and was dislodged from Choice Bro.
Coome was taken to Rockhampton hospital where he was cleared of serious injury and he will undergo further test for possible ligament or tendon damage to his left elbow.
Brad Stewart was able to walk back to the mounting yard with a possible fractured or dislocated finger.
Most concern is held for Sairyn Fawke who was airlifted to Brisbane hospital where he has movement, is responsive and in a stable condition, according to information from the Australian Jockey's Association.
Danagaze ($17.00) was another to avoid trouble and charged home from being seventh at the 800m and eighth at the 400m to claim third, 1.1 lengths back from Victory Hotel.
Gardiner said Victory Hotel pulled up well after the race and he planned on giving the four-year-old gelding a week off before giving him a trot and deciding what to do next.