Jockey Joe Anderson hangs off horse’s neck before securing incredible win at Plumpton

Joe Anderson was thrown forward after his mount made a terrible jumping error
Anderson was thrown forward after his mount made a terrible jumping error - Sky Sport Racing

Joe Anderson, who had never sat on a horse until he was 18, made a remarkable recovery from what appeared to be beyond the point of no return to win at Plumpton on Sunday.

Anderson was midfield on the Neil Mulholland-trained Transmission in the BetGoodwin Sussex Stayers Handicap Hurdle when it stepped at the sixth flight of hurdles on top of the hill. In doing so, it all but pulled Anderson over its head but with both legs over one side of the horse’s neck and only his elbows over the other, he somehow managed to defy gravity and get back in the saddle for what the course commentator called a “miracle recovery.”

However he was unable to get his feet back in the stirrups immediately and jumped the next four hurdles without them before finally regaining them just after the 10th hurdle with just under a circuit to go. From there on Transmission crept into the race, landed in front at the second last and ran on strongly to win by two and a quarter lengths on the 9-2 shot.

Liverpool-born Anderson, 27, who is attached to Emma Lavelle’s stable near Marlborough, was winning the 32nd and most valuable race of his career.

“He made a bit of a mistake, landed on his head, nodded and pulled me up his neck,” he said. “I thought it was curtains and that he had done well to stand up. But after that it actually felt smooth getting back on top.

“The trouble then was that I was on my light saddle and the stirrups kept pinging over the wrong side. Every time I went to get them back he started taking a pull but going up the hill setting out on the last circuit he gave himself a breather and I was able to play around with them and get them back. He’s a great jumper but usually throws in one howler in every race.

“It’s amazing what fear can do! Bryan Carver asked me if I was going to pull up when I had no stirrups and I replied he’d be doing well to get me to do that in a £75,000 race.”

A grateful Mulholland said: “It’s was unreal; a very good sit and very lucky too. Some days those go for you and some they don’t but it did today. Even with a circuit to go the crowd gave him a big roar, another when he won and even louder when he got back to the winners’ enclosure. It’s nice for everyone and all positive. Racing needs little stories like that.”

As it was a Premier raceday and as such the most valuable card ever staged at the Sussex track, one hopes the owners will give Anderson a drink – it was worth £40,000 to the winner.

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