Kings Grey to ride at Galway but Spartacus will miss out

Kings Grey ridden by Brian Toomey led after two circuits but pulled up at Southwell
Kings Grey ridden by Brian Toomey led after two circuits but pulled up at Southwell
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Miracle jockey Brian Toomey is set to be in action at next week’s Galway Festival after trainer Phil Kirby confirmed Kings Grey an intended runner.

Two years on from suffering a fall at Perth which left him dead for six seconds, Toomey made his long-awaited comeback aboard the 11-year-old in a selling hurdle at Southwell earlier this month.

But the odds-on favourite failed to provide the 26-year-old, who spent 157 nights in hospital, with a fairytale return when he was pulled up.

Kirby reports his veteran none the worse, though, and plans to let him return over fences in Ireland.

“It always was part of the plan to go to Galway,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“We weren’t sure after what happened at Southwell, but the horse seems absolutely fine.

“Nothing came to light, so we’re hoping he just had an off-day - I hope that’s the case as it’s a long way back from Galway otherwise!

“There are a couple of races over fences he could run in, so we’ll see where we are nearer the time.

“Hopefully I’ll find something else to go over with him.

“We’ve had a few runners over there and Sky Khan ran really well to finish second in a novice hurdle a couple of years ago.

“My mum and dad only live about five miles from the track so it’s a good excuse to go and see them.”

Toomey has not ridden since his Southwell comeback, but is jocked-up for the Michael Mullineaux-trained Generous Past in a Uttoxeter bumper on Friday.

Meanwhile, Brave Spartacus is unlikely to run at Galway later this month and could instead return to Market Rasen in search of further riches following his all-the-way win in the Betfred Summer Plate on Saturday.

The nine-year-old jumped his rivals in the ground as he won virtually unchallenged by seven lengths from Baby Mix in the hands of trainer Keith Reveley’s son, James.

As Brave Spartacus returned to his Saltburn stable with a few battle scars, Reveley snr rates the horse doubtful for the Galway Plate on July 29.

The 888sport Handicap Chase at the Lincolnshire track on September 26, which the yard won with Benny Be Good in 2011, is the next likely port of call.

“He’s fine, but I think we’ve ruled out Galway. He’s got scrapes on his stifle and a little nick on his hock, and Galway is only a fortnight away,” said Saltburn-based Reveley.

“We’ll go for the other big chase at Market Rasen in September. We won it with Benny Be Good a few years back, so we’ll have a go at that, all being well.

“Jumping is his big asset and James (Reveley) knows him so well.

“They are a great combination and jumping gave him chance to get the breathers in on Saturday.

“He was going a strong gallop the whole way, but the jumping gives him time to get his breath.

“It was very good.”