Oisin Murphy will be fit to ride Chrono Genesis, Japan’s big hope for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday, after narrowly avoiding serious injury in an alarming incident in the paddock before the first race at Salisbury on Thursday.
Murphy had just climbed aboard the unraced two-year-old colt Oasis Gift before a seven-furlong novice event when his mount started to buck and kick, taking off across the parade ring as he did so. Seconds later, Murphy was thrown from the saddle and collided with a plastic fence around the enclosure.
The champion jockey was treated for a facial injury at the scene before walking to a nearby ambulance and being taken to hospital for further treatment. Oasis Gift was caught shortly afterwards and was unharmed in the incident.
Later on Thursday afternoon, Murphy thanked the medical staff at the racecourse and the hospital and said he had been discharged with “a few stitches” to his lip and face. “Very grateful to their work,” he added, “and all the kind messages.”
Chrono Genesis was among a field of 15 for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when the final declarations for Sunday’s race were made on Thursday morning. The five-year-old has been handed a difficult draw in stall 14, while Adayar, the Derby winner, also has a high draw in 11. His stable companion Hurricane Lane, however, is better-placed in stall two, one off the inside rail, while Tarnawa, the runner-up in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown this month, is immediately outside him in three.
Adayar remains a narrow favourite for the Arc at a top price of 11-4, with Tarnawa on 3-1 and Hurricane Lane at 4-1. Snowfall, the runaway winner of the Oaks, is a 6-1 chance with Chrono Genesis next on 12-1 and it is 25-1 bar the five.
In Ireland, Frankie Dettori gave a huge crowd at Bellewstown the result they were hoping for when Trueba won a race staged in memory of Barney Curley, the legendary trainer and gambler who was one of Dettori’s closest friends from the early days of his career and died in May.
“I’ve taken a million selfies but it’s all been good fun,” Dettori said. “It’s a fantastic day. Barney was great to me, I came to Newmarket by myself and he was a bit like a father figure to me. He gave me a lot of advice, he was very caring, we travelled the world together. To the very end, I was with him. We have to celebrate his life, not cry, he was a tremendous human being.”
Bellewstown was the scene of Curley’s most famous betting coup in 1975, when he arranged for an accomplice to occupy the only telephone box at the tiny County Meath track to prevent off-course bookmakers sending money to the course to shorten the starting price of his horse Yellow Sam, who ran out a comfortable winner.
Publicity leading up to Thursday’s yesterday’s race has helped to raise more than £75,000 for the charity Dafa (Direct Aid For Africa), which Curley founded after the death of his 18-year-old son, Charlie, in a road accident.