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By Graham Potter | Thursday, March 10, 2022

It was a really scary moment in so many ways when the horse that most racegoers across the country was watching intently on the day, was forced into running rail by the wayward movement of horses to his outside, sending his jockey crashing from the saddle and the horse itself scurrying along in awkward fashion as he tried to maintain his balance and stay on his feet while the plastic rail flapped and flickered around him in a disturbing, rapid ripple effect motion caused by the initial contact.

Miraculously, and I don’t use that word lightly, Sacred Oath did stay on his feet and was able to return after the race none the worse for wear, physically that is.

Mentally, the incident could still prove to be a setback for a young horse still very much learning his trade … this was only his second race start … but, the positive point there is that, in trainer David Vandyke, Sacred Oath has one of the best carers of racehorses in town in his corner and everyone can rest assured that Vandyke will bring all of his substantial expertise into play to ensure that Sacred Oath’s path forward, in all facets of his well-being, will be carefully managed.

As far as jockey Ryan Maloney is concerned, he was knocked out in the fall for a brief period but, thankfully, escaped serious injury, mainly due to the fact that the balance of the field behind him were fanned out wider across the track as the fall occurred so soon after the start and were thus able to avoid the stricken rider.

The incident will have a sequel when stewards convene an inquiry into the incident. That was deferred from the race-day itself to a time when Maloney will be able to attend.

As has been so well documented in the media hype build-up to the race, the name S K Warne does feature in Sacred Oath’s ownership group and hence the country-wide focus on Sacred Oath’s anticipated performance on the day (he did start a #1.30 favourite) … and, yes, a win by Sacred Oath would have made the preferred headlines across the country given the wave of emotion that has followed the Spin King’s tragic passing.

Other owners and friends involved in the horse were understandably devastated, firstly, by the fact that their race had only lasted 100m and, secondly, by the circumstances in which Sacred Oath was taken out of commission … but that cherished victory, although it might not feel the same if it comes some way down the line … can still be a story for another day.

For now, though, we all just have to be thankful that both horse and rider came through a really nasty incident relatively unscathed.

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