Brendan Powell jnr experienced the highs and lows of racing during the last few days. On Friday he was at Newmarket, where the young jockey gave the Queen’s Free Verse a peach of a ride to win the Piper-Heidsieck E.B.F. Fillies' Handicap.
Yesterday, in the rather less glamorous surroundings of Southwell, he was lucky to escape serious injury after a fall from The Lemonpie in a handicap chase. The pair were challenging for third place at the third last fence, when the horse crumpled on landing before rolling over on top of Powell. The jockey was knocked out and did not move for several minutes.
The medical team were quickly on the spot, and once he came round Powell was fitted with a neck brace before being taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. His father, Brendan, who piloted Rhyme ‘N Reason to win the 1988 Grand National, trains The Lemonpie, and left checking on his horse to go down to the fence where the accident occurred. He was able to report that his son “was just knocked out for a few minutes, but he can move everything. He has been taken to hospital as the paramedics just want to make sure everything is OK.”
Thankfully it is, and Powell jnr was released from hospital after X rays and a CAT scan showed no damage beyond a sore leg and hand. The Lemonpie also emerged safe, with nothing more than a few scratches.
The incident delayed racing for an hour whilst the ambulance taking Powell to hospital returned, and a further delay occurred when one ambulance was stuck in mud and another struggled with a flat battery. In then end, racing resumed with the 2.40 race getting under way at 4.05, and final race not starting until 6.35.
One jockey won’t have minded the delay too much was conditional Ian Popham. He’s been out for 10 moths with a fractured pelvis, but was in the winner’s enclosure on is first ride back, Sky Calling. Popham’s boss, Martin Keighley had cause to celebrate the winner as well, as it was the 100th success from his base at Condicote.
Keighley said, "That's our 100th winner and Ian Popham's first winner after being off for over 10 months, so it was special. It's fantastic and I'm delighted for him. Ian didn't look ring-rusty. He rode to orders, to sit third or fourth which he did and press on turning in. It's nice when it goes to plan."