Female apprentice Yu in hospital after horror fall

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 December, 1999, 12:00am

YOUNG female jockey Carol W.S. Yu was recovering in hospital last night after an horrific double-fall on the dirt track at Sha Tin.

The 23-year-old apprentice underwent scans and X-rays at the nearby Prince Of Wales' hospital, but fortunately escaped serious injuries.

Covered in mud from head to toe, Yu lay motionless on the all-weather surface after her mount, bottomweight My Heart, had crashed into Dull Lead, who had fallen seconds earlier after clipping heels.

Australian rider Steven King was pitchforked to the ground, bounced and rolled as Dull Lead stumbled and fell.

The grey gelding then started to regain his feet only to have My Heart smash straight into him. Dull Lead was felled and Yu arced over My Heart's neck and crashed to the ground.

As topweight All Win went on to win the Class Three race, paramedics dashed on to the track to attend to Yu. By this time, King had scrambled to the side of the track. While the race was being replayed, Yu was seen to move as she was carried away on a stretcher.

Director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said: 'The final report we have tonight is that she is resting comfortably, nothing is broken and she is merely under observation.

'But if her neck hurts too much she can have medication there.

'It is precautionary. It did not look good when it happened, so it is really good news that it's not serious.

'With respect to Steven, we did not give him much choice in the matter. He could have had a hairline fracture.' An inquiry into the incident was opened and adjourned until evidence can be taken from Yu and King.

Meanwhile, Jockey Club chief executive Larry Wong spoke about a demonstration by part-time workers yesterday morning. About 20 took part in the protest at the racecourse over a reduction in their working hours.

Wong said: 'This is a fact of life in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Technology is advancing every day and the man hours needed on some of these machines is less than it was previously.' Champion trainer David Hayes yesterday admitted removing barriers at the Sha Tin grass track so that he could illegally work four horses on it.

The Australian confirmed to stewards he had worked the quartet on the course proper on December 4 and shifted the barriers which indicated it was closed. He was fined $8,000 for breaching trackwork regulations.