Sunday’s Perth Cup 2023 (2400m) had to be abandoned mid-race following a two-horse fall early in the $500,000 Ascot feature.

Perth Cup 2023 : Abandoned | What happened in

The Group 2 Perth Cup is one of the premier features of the annual Perth Summer Racing Carnival and after traditionally being run on New Year’s Day has changed dates a number of times in recent years. The Perth Cup is now run in either late December or the first week of January.

Perth Cup 2023 : Abandoned | What happened in

Held at Ascot Racecourse in Western Australia, the 2400m event is an open handicap that attracts the top local and interstate stayers and offers a lucrative $500,000 in total prize money to its entrants.

It is joined on the Perth Cup Day card by the Group 3 La Trice Classic (1800m) and the Listed Summer Scorcher (1000m).

Perth Cup 2023 Abandoned 

The $500,000 Perth Cup (2400m) has been declared a no-race when two horses fell shortly after the start at Ascot racecourse on New Year’s Day.

Chili Is Hot ($81) appeared to clip heels and immediately fall with Dom To Shoot ($11) crashing over the top approximately 200 metres following the start of the Group 2 race.

Perth Cup 2023 : Abandoned | What happened in

Dom To Shoot galloped riderless after the fall but Chili Is Hot remained on the track in the home straight. Stewards immediately ordered the abandonment of the race with the message conveyed to riders by clerks of the course with 900 metres remaining.

“This is going to be a race for the ages, this is a Cup that is about to be called off,” race broadcaster Darren McAullay said as jockeys restrained their mounts to a walk in the back straight.

On-course reports indicated jockeys Jordan Turner and Peter Knuckey walked away from the fall with only superficial injuries.

“I was right behind the fall,” Steven Parnham told the West Australian as “I went to my inside just as it happened to avoid it but didn’t realise a second horse had fallen as well.

“I didn’t know the race was going to be called off until we were in the back straight.”

A quick scan of history books suggests it’s the first time the Perth Cup has been called off mid-race since it was first held in 1887.

However, the 2008 Perth Cup was also marred by a six-horse fall 200 metres after the start. Cats Fun won that event, the most recent 3200-metre Perth Cup, crossing the line with riderless horses spread across the racecourse.

What happened in Perth Cup 2023

The incident occurred as the large field was galloping down the straight on the first occasion, with Chili Is Hot coming down when racing in restricted room.

Perth Cup 2023 : Abandoned | What happened in

The Graeme Ballantyne-trained mare fell in front of Dom To Shoot, sending jockey Jordan Turner to the turf.

Perth Racing confirmed both Turner and Chili Is Hot’s rider Peter Knuckey escaped injury in the fall.

Unfortunately Chili Is Hot suffered significant harm and could not be moved from the home straight, leading to the abandonment of the race with jockeys instructed to ease their mounts down when approaching the 800m mark.

Sadly Chili Is Hot was unable to be saved and had to be euthanised at the track.

“Our thoughts are with all those connected with Chili Is Hot,” Perth Racing CEO James Oldring said.

Dom To Shoot, who carried on riderless after the incident before being captured by the clerk of the course, suffered abrasions and was found to be slightly lame in the off foreleg.

“This is one of the hardest events for anyone involved with racing to deal with.

“The welfare of jockeys and horses is always our top priority,” Oldring said.

The Perth Cup has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 14.

An investigation into the fatal fall has been launched.

By Rishabh

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