Jockey Brian Toomey was out of luck on his return to the saddle after a near-fatal fall at Perth two years ago as his mount Kings Grey was pulled up at Southwell.
Resuscitated but given only a three per cent chance of survival, Toomey, 26, was last month issued with a jockeys’ licence after he was thrust on to the sidelines following the frightful spill from Solway Dandy on July 4, 2013.
The rider was placed in an induced coma in the high dependency unit of Ninewells Hospital, in Dundee, for two weeks, and had surgery to reduce swelling on his brain, including the removal of part of his skull.
He remained in hospital for 157 nights, but recovered to fulfil every criteria needed from the British Horseracing Authority.
Toomey’s first ride back saw him get the leg-up on Phil Kirby’s 11-year-old in the betbonus.com Claim Your Free Bets Now Novices’ Selling Hurdle and all appeared to be going to plan as he led at the second flight.
Jumping well from there, it looked like the odds-on favourite would give the racing world the result it wanted, but he seemed to lose his action and was eased and eventually pulled up before the home straight. The race went to 18-1 outsider Daizy.
The Lisa Harrison-trained Solway Dandy himself ran on Sunday, finishing second in the opening race at Perth.