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Harley breaks bone in neck in horror fall

Tom Peacock

Published 20/03/2014 | 02:30

Martin Harley
Martin Harley

Pre-race talk at Lingfield had all concerned at the development of another eyecatching all-weather gamble, but it was rendered insignificant after the shocking fall suffered by Donegal-born jockey Martin Harley.

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The British Horseracing Authority had already alerted the Gambling Commission to what they described as "the possibility of a complex betting-related issue involving races at Lingfield and Kempton" and some bookmakers suspended trading on seven races featuring horses with a link to owner Stephen Arnold or trainer Tony Newcombe.

Harley had ridden the first of five runners, which Arnold admitted to including in multiple bets in the opening Coral Mobile 'Just Three Clicks To Bet' Handicap, when the Ann Stokell-trained 2/1 favourite Daniel Thomas finished a well-beaten eighth.


The incident happened in the following event when Harley was riding Newcombe's 7/4 favourite Red Art.

The Newcombe-trained five-year-old died after breaking a shoulder and catapulted Harley to the ground when well held inside the final furlong of the contest.

The winning rider of the 2012 Irish 1,000 Guineas was later transferred to St George's Hospital in Tooting for further assessment, with Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys' Association, later reporting that the Letterkenny native was "conscious and stable."

it was also revealed, however, that he had broken a bone in his neck and a number of ribs in a crashing fall.

It is a double blow for Harley as he had only recently started his new job as stable jockey to Marco Botti's powerful Newmarket yard and was expected to partner Mount Athos for his new boss in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on Saturday week.

The incident was to cause a delay of nearly an hour and a half to wait for the ambulance before the remaining events were rushed through.

Presumido (5/1) held on in the race by half a length from Alnoomaas and the trainer Simon Dow described it as a "hollow victory."

Arnold had tweeted before racing: "The horses I have backed in multiples are Daniel Thomas, Profile Star, Decent Fella, We Have A Dream, Brown Pete good luck." He later said: "Bookies are ripping people off all the time, so why not tell people (about his bets)? I've had my money on already. It's just finding the right grade of races. It's not about stopping horses. I've had plenty of horses when I thought they've had no chance and they've still won.

"It just happened there was a load of races today that suited the horses I've got. The hardest part is finding the right races – that really is the art."

The bookmaking industry has been on high alert since four horses with a connection to the legendary gambler and trainer Barney Curley all won on January 22.

The interest in Newcombe at Lingfield ended when he withdrew Dorback, an intended mount for Harley, from the Compare Bookmakers At Handicap, but it put Arnold back in business.


Although Profile Star (3/1) is trained by Stokell, Arnold was asked if he had any connection with Newcombe and replied "none whatsoever."

Another of his horses, Pull The Pin, had set the pace to the home turn, but William Carson sneaked up the rail on Profile Star and scored by a length and a quarter.

In the Ladbrokes Handicap, however, Arnold's fortunes took another turn for the worse when Decent Fella beat only a couple of horses home.

Arnold's first entry on Kempton's card was also out of luck as the Stokell-trained Catalyze finished third behind Mr Bounty in a six-furlong handicap.

Stablemate We Have A Dream similarly failed to hit the mark at the venue.

Press Association

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