By Jon Lees
Germany: Frankie Dettori and Oisin Murphy are among leading jockeys from across Europe who have recorded a message of support to four-time German champion Filip Minarik, who is in a coma in hospital.
In a video organised by Minarik’s friends, jockeys offer ‘get well’ wishes and also urge him to wake up from the coma he has been under since he was left unconscious by a fall at Mannheim on July 3.
Olivier Peslier, Jim Crowley, Colin Keane, Cristian Demuro, Tom Marquand, Hollie Doyle, James Doyle, Silvestre de Sousa and Dario Vargu also feature in the three-and-a-half-minute tribute, which carries the hashtag #prayforfilip.
ITV Racing pundit Matt Chapman, who led the fundraising effort for Freddy Tylicki after he suffered a T7 paralysis which has left him with no movement in the lower half of his body, has also contributed.
It is hoped keeping Minarik’s name in the limelight will aid the fundraising effort on behalf of the jockey who is in Hanover’s INI [International Neuroscience Institute] Klinik. Pledges have already exceeded the €100,000 target sum.
One of the organisers, jockey Patrick Gibson, said: “We don’t know how long it will be until Filip wakes up so we are using the video in the hope people will still donate.
“Thore Hammer Hansen got us the videos from England and some were taken on Sunday at the German Oaks meeting. We hope it is going to be played to Filip as soon as he is able to see it.”
The 45-year-old 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).
He led the European team at last year’s Shergar Cup at Ascot, where he made an instant impression by riding a winner on his first ride.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Filip Minarik to raise funds to help pay for his treatment