Tragic end to big race drama
Hours after Leicester chairman won at Newbury, he was killed in a helicopter crash
LEICESTER City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s horse Morando was a joint winner at Newbury on Saturday – hours before the Thai businessman was tragically killed in a helicopter crash.
Morando runs in the colours of King Power Racing, owned by Srivaddhanaprabha, and is trained by Andrew Balding at Kingsclere’s Park House stables.
The five-year-old gelding was taking part in the £60,000 G3 Teddington Royal British Legion Stakes (2.50pm) over one mile and four furlongs – the highlight of Newbury Racecourse’s final Flat raceday of the season, the Worthington Armed Forces Day.
The thrilling finish saw even-money favourite Young Rascal (Jim Crowley) and 8/1 chance Morando (Rob Hornby) share the spoils in a dead-heat.
Young Rascal, well-backed throughout the day, sat second in the early stages of the 12-furlong event before cruising into the lead with a quarter-mile remaining.
He looked to have the race won for most of the final furlong, but Morando ran on strongly to force a dead-heat, the first in the race’s history, on the line.
The winning time was 2m 38.54s on ground described as good to soft, soft in places.
Young Rascal, owned by Investec managing director Bernard Kantor, is now unbeaten in three starts at Newbury, which included success in the G3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup in September.
The three-year-old son of Intello was also providing trainer William Haggas with a second victory in the feature race, following Beaten Up’s 2011 win.
Morando was stepping up to 12 furlongs for the first time in the G3 contest and is Balding’s third winner of the race (Buccellati 2008 and Duretto 2016).
Haggas was recognised as the leading trainer at Newbury this season in an award ceremony (The Newburys) held at the track.
Young Rascal, a second winner on the day for the Newmarket trainer, was his 16th winner of the season at the course.
He has operated at a 33-per-cent strike-rate and amassed £235,000 in prize money at the Berkshire venue this term.
Anna Lisa Balding, representing her husband Andrew, said: “It was great to see that he stayed today and he has actually stayed on really nicely, which is exciting going forward.”
But all the excitement of the day paled into insignificance just hours later when five people were killed after the Foxes chairman’s helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium following Leicester’s Premier League game with West Ham.