Rock On Ruby’s win marred by death of Darlan

A FATAL fall by Darlan shocked the racing world on Monday.

At the final hurdle of the Champion Hurdle trial in Doncaster, Darlan tumbled over the final hurdle, launching jockey Tony McCoy and himself into the ground.

Sadly, the error proved fatal.

When I heard the news of the accident, I was at work. (I am a reporter for my local paper). I opened Twitter to see what the latest news was in my local area and was shocked to see heart-felt messages fill my timeline about Darlan.

After scrolling through them, I realised how loved the Nicky Henderson trained horse was: the potential which he had was immense and he was definitely admired by a lot of followers.

Darlan, winner of the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, had been the second favourite for the Champion Hurdle and he raced well against Rock On Ruby during the 32Red Hurdle on Monday.

McCoy travelled well behind the leader and looked ready for a gusty finish. But Darlan stepped at the hurdle and fell. The result was inevitable.

McCoy even stepped down for the rest of the day.

Rock On Ruby did pull off a gritty win, but it was – and still is – overshadowed by Darlan’s death.

Harry Fry’s horse did well to get ahead of Countrywide Flame, who was the long-time leader throughout the race, and no doubt he will continue to blossom.

Even a few days later, many – including myself – are saddened by the loss of Darlan. But as Nicky Henderson said, “It’s some game, isn’t it?”

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Posted in Thursday Thoughts from Abby Rugg
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