Newcastle jockey Dale Spriggs walks away from his dead mount.
Newcastle jockey Dale Spriggs walks away from his dead mount.

Spriggs shaken, but okay

JOCKEY Dale Spriggs had a lucky escape from injury when Coffs Harbour four-year-old Newbold King collapsed and died 100 metres after passing the post in the Grafton Radio Taxis Handicap yesterday.

The gelding, which finished last in the race nearly 25 lengths behind Race 5 winner Play A King, was seen to wobble in his final few strides before collapsing.

“I managed to jump off just before he went down,” a shaken, but injury-free Spriggs said. “He’s had a massive bleed I think.”

While a post-mortem was to be carried out, chief steward Drew Smith said he believed the Paul Smith-trained gelding died before hitting the turf.

Play A King, ridden by Michael Cahill, is trained by Gerald Ryan and both jockey and trainer will combine on Ironstein in the Grafton Cup today.

Play A King rattled home out wide from near last on straightening to beat Divergent and Renaka.

“I was asked to ride him quiet but even if I wanted to go forward I couldn’t, he had no early pace,” Cahill said. “The further we went, the stronger he got.”

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