Racing: Bloody glory after coach’s big win

Darryn Weatherley. Photo / Trish Dunell

One of the proudest moments of trainer Darryn Weatherley’s career turned into a horror show, leaving him bloodied in front of stunned race fans at Trentham on Saturday.

Weatherley and his daughter Briar coached Ess Vee Are to win the $80,000 St. Leger at the hands of Darryn’s jockey son Sam, but what should have been a special family moment was shattered when Ess Vee Are gave Darryn a kick and a Artery in his leg severed in the front parade ring in front of officials and racegoers.

The 4-year-old gelding kicked Weatherley in the inner thigh and while the cut was only 2-3cm wide, it struck an artery and the Matamata trainer lost over two liters of blood.

“They put on him the ceremonial robe of victory [Ess Vee Are] after the race but it didn’t sit right and it bothered him,” winning jockey Sam Weatherley told the Herald.


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“Dad went to fix it and he kicked out and got washed up in Dad’s leg and although it hurt at first he thought he was fine.

“He wanted it to go away but collapsed and had blood all over his dress pants. When he got medical attention, which happened pretty quickly, it was like a cup of blood in his shoe because it had run down his leg.”

Weatherley was taken to Hutt Hospital where the bleeding was stopped but yesterday afternoon she was still awaiting surgery to clean and seal the wound area.

“It was pretty scary for everyone, just one of those crazy things that wasn’t really the horse’s fault,” explains Sam.


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The accident left a shaken Briar Weatherley who had to saddle up the stable’s other three runners for the day, including Maria Farina, who won the $80,000 Lightning Handicap, giving the family a welcome distraction before they could go to see Darryn in the hospital.

Incredible double

It takes something special to trump a horse that wins its first five races, topped by a Group 3 win, but owner Sir Peter Vela found a way on Saturday.

Vela bred and owns Pearl Of Alsace who maintained her unbeaten record at the Cuddle Stakes in Trentham on Saturday, all five wins since her debut as a 4 year old on November 14th.

But that wasn’t the highlight of his race weekend as Vela became one of the few New Zealanders to own a Golden Slipper winner as Shinzo won the A$5 million Glamor race at Rosehill on Saturday.

Vela has long been associated with the international breeding company Coolmore and for the last four years has been part of their Australian stallion consortium trading in top quality horses in the hope of finding at least one good enough to become a stallion.

Shinzo did that in just four starts, giving expat trainer Chris Waller his first slipper winner.

“It was a huge thrill and crowned a very special day,” said Vela.

Heroic Poser

Prowess will need a new driver for the Vinery Stakes in Sydney on Saturday after James McDonald was suspended over the weekend.


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McDonald should have been riding the Bonecrusher Stakes winner from last start but will miss Saturday’s meeting, leaving trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood taking calls from Australian jockey agents keen to get their riders on the gorgeous Kiwi filly .

Prowess arrived in Sydney in good shape and is the same favorite for Saturday’s Group 1 with Pavitra.


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