Jockey Darren Gauci is currently recovering in hospital after suffering head and neck injuries after a race fall at Mornington Racecourse yesterday.
Gauci was taken to the Frankston Hospital after his mount sharply veered off course and crashed through the inside running rail, dislodging the rider.
The incident happened near the winning post with one lap still left to run, with the fallout also taking out Michael Carson’s Auzonnet and Chris Symons’ Aggretor.
Gauci’s horse, the Nikki Burke-trained Gothic Armageddon, subsequently collapsed and died.
Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said that Gothic Armageddon appeared to have suffered from a heart attack.
“All the signs are the horse had a heart attack and died,” Mr Bailey said.
The 45-year-old Gauci is believed to have sustained a compressed fracture in his lower back due to the fall.
Victoria Jockeys’ Association chief executive Des O’Keefe said Gauci was experiencing full body movement.
“I’m pleased to report he doesn’t have any head or neck injuries and has full movement,” Mr O’Keefe said.
“But he’s been complaining of a really sore lower back since the fall and the doctors wanted to look right into that.
“They did full scans and X-rays and believe he could have a compressed fracture in the lower back.
“He’s being transferred to the Alfred Hospital for more extensive tests.”
This is not the first fall Gauci has experienced during his extensive racing career.
The jockey fell into an eight day coma after a race fall at Yarra Valley in 1989, while he more recently injured his ankle after falling from Gold In Dubai on Boxing Day last year.