By Jon Lees
Germany: Filip Minarik, the four-time champion jockey of Germany, is in an induced coma in hospital after a race fall on Friday, according to reports.
Czech-born Minarik, 45, was taken to the local hospital after the horse he was riding, Dusky Dance, came down in the last race at Mannheim.
It was subsequently confirmed to German racing website GaloppOnline by Stephan Buchner, president of the Mannheim racing club, that the jockey had been unconscious when he left the track and placed into a coma on arrival at Mannheim University Clinic.
In a later bulletin Minarik was reported to be in a stable condition after undergoing ankle surgery and awaiting further examination. His wife Katja was with him.
Minarik, originally from Prague, has been riding in Germany since 2000 where he has partnered more than 1,500 winners, 13 at G1 level and was champion in 2005, 2011, 2016 and 2017 (when he shared the title with Alex Pietsch).
His major victories include four successes in the Grosser Preis von Baden, the nation’s number one race, with Prince Flori (2006), Night Magic (2010), Ivanhowe (2016) and Guignol (2017), plus for wins in the Grosser Preis von Bayern and two in the Preis der Diana (German Oaks).
Minarik made an instant impression in Britain when riding a winner on his first ride at last year’s Shergar Cup at Ascot, where he captained the European team. He has spent the last three winters riding in Japan.
He was not the only Flat rider in the wars with top French jockey Olivier Peslier suffering a fractured jaw in a nasty fall at Saint-Cloud. He will undergo surgery on Saturday, according to his wife Emilie.