Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 25 June 2017

Niall McCullagh sidelined by serious gallops fall

Niall McCullagh is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after he was seriously injured when riding out yesterday
Niall McCullagh is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after he was seriously injured when riding out yesterday

Niall McCullagh is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after he was seriously injured when riding out yesterday.

McCullagh, who won the Irish St Leger three years ago on Royal Diamond, was due to be in action at Down Royal yesterday and Wexford today.

His father, Michael, said: "Niall was injured on the gallops at Frank Dunne's. He was riding a horse and it wouldn't stop. He is in Blanchardstown Hospital with a collapsed lung and broken ribs."

Meanwhile, Richard Hughes stole the show on his penultimate visit to Ascot as a jockey as he teamed up with trainer Richard Hannon to for a 191/1 treble.

Having enjoyed some of the greatest victories of his career at the Berkshire track, the three-times champion jockey demonstrated he is retiring while still at the peak of his powers after steering home Marenko, Wall of Fire and Sydney Ruffdiamond to victory.

Marenko (9/1) got the ball rolling for Hannon and Hughes when leaving behind her no-show on her debut at Newmarket with a pillar-to-post victory in the John Guest EBF Stallions Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

Hughes adopted the same front-running tactics when successful aboard newcomer Wall Of Fire in the Crocker Bulteel Maiden Stakes.

Although he was forced to get serious aboard the 5/2 shot late on, the pair had three-quarters of a length to spare at the line over Justice Law.

Sydney Ruffdiamond completed the Hannon-Hughes treble when coming with a late dash to land the concluding Charity Handicap.

Evita Peron (5/4f) demonstrated her liking for a rain-softened surface after gaining a deserved success in the Valiant Stakes.

Ben Curtis celebrated his first winner at the track after useful dual-code performer Seamour ground out victory in the John Guest Brown Jack Stakes. Following the race, Seamour was cut to 16/1 for next month's Ebor at York by sponsors Betfred.

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