One jockey worked a miracle in the saddle to win and left a stunned commenter saying: “I’ve never seen anything like this in 44 years.”
Alex Cruz was awarded for ‘Ride of the Year’ contender after the win, which was nothing short of ridiculous on Akasi.
The two-year-old was running in her fourth race under trainer David Martinez at the Emerald Downs on Sunday.
And to be honest, it looked like it was impossible to come runner-up again after being wildly out of the stalls.
The sudden jolt saw Puerto Rican rider Cruz lose his iron – a racing term for his feet coming off the stirrups.
This is usually a nightmare for jockeys and can mean that they can say goodbye to all chances of winning because they are out of control.
In fact, just being upright can be an achievement in itself.
It looked the same for Cruz as he fell back on Akasi while the remaining four runners pounced forward.
Aloof and wobbly, Akasi was so far behind at certain points in the footage that the camera couldn’t get wide enough to fit him.
But then somehow she kept searching for more and more—as the cruise held on for dear life.
Making the ground fast on the outside and the other jockeys getting low in the saddle, Cruz pounced next to them.
And going straight down in the 5½f race, he was absolutely flying, overtaking them all to win and the £8200 prize.
No one was more surprised than TVG commentator Michael Joyce, who could hardly believe what he had just seen.
Stunned, he said: “You’ve heard of the ride of the hands and the heel. It’s the ride of the reins and the inner thigh and the adductor.
“It’s the most amazing thing.
“I always say, when you go to the racetrack there’s a chance you’re going to see something you’ve never seen before.
“And in my 44 years I’ve seen riders lose their shackles, but I’ve never seen a horse win a race with his iron rider around the racetrack.”
‘Get that jockey some ice’
Winning like this put a tremendous amount of pressure on Cruise’s body, especially his inner thighs—not a point lost on some mischievous punters.
One said in response to a clip of the race: “Get that jockey an ice pack.”
But most were astonished by his horsemanship, which came across a track officially described as ‘sloppy’.
One commented: “It’s great on so many levels.”
Another wrote: “Ride of the Year.”
A fellow Twitter user said: “That’s why I say jockeys are the best athletes in the world! What a ride! That was thigh and halter.”
While another posted: “Unbelievable. Never seen one on track before. What a ride.”
Speaking of her remarkable victory, Cruz, who won four races on the card, said: “Initially, she stumbled and got ducked out, which is when I lost my iron.
“I tried to recover but it was too muddy and my shoes were slipping.
“I was going to go to the turn and pull him up, but when we started to gain some ground, we went with him!”
‘Ride of the Year’
Champion flat jockey Oisin Murphy recently showed similar prowess in a scary pre-race event.
The Irishman was on the untrained Canagut, who bowled all the way to the post before the jockey ironed his feet.
Murphy somehow managed to catch a four-year-old running 40 mph at Epsom Racecourse.
And Hugh Morgan was praised for his ‘Ride of the Century’ contender, also winning without irony – but this time he jumped!
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