Simply Brilliant won a dramatic Group 3 January Cup Handicap (1800m) at Happy Valley tonight, Wednesday, 9 January, but the biggest drama came once victory was sealed.
One stride after the line, the Frankie Lor-trained gelding appeared to take a misstep and pitched rider Alexis Badel to the turf. The Frenchman was spared serious injury as the rest of the 10-runner field galloped around him.
An outrider caught Simply Brilliant – to warm hand claps from the crowd – and accompanied the Frankel five-year-old back to his relieved trainer unscathed after completing a rider-less circuit. Ambulance crew had, by that time, attended to a limping Badel, who got the biggest applause of all.
“Not too bad, quite stiff. It could have been worse,” was the jockey’s understated response when asked how he was.