O’Neill’s 2,000th winner the luckiest of the lot
Robbie Dunne unseated on the leader to allow Centuro to win
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) O'Neill's 2,000th winner the luckiest of the lot By Stuart Riley 2:30PM 13 OCT 2016
JONJO O'NEILL brought up the 2,000th winner of an incredible training career in dramatic fashion as his Centuro took advantage of Red Hot Chilly's incredible misfortune.
Robbie Dunne had led from the start on Dai Burchell's difficult-to-settle three-year-old and appeared to have put the race to bed when paddling through the second-last flight two lengths clear of his Aidan Coleman-ridden pursuer.
But the drama was not yet over. While Coleman rallied his mount to close to within a length with half a furlong to run, Red Hot Chilly looked to be doing enough to hold on.
A path across the course in the closing stages caused the leader to switch legs and Dunne, who had lost his right iron, in turn became unbalanced. First, his right leg went down below the horse's girth, only for his attempts to counter resulting in him putting all his weight on his left leg – causing his saddle to slip and him to be shipped out the side door within five strides of the line.
Coleman, who looked bemused afterwards, suffered no such misfortune and guided home Centuro to give his trainer a landmark victory that had looked incredibly unlikely.
Coleman said: "It's great for Jonjo to reach the 2,000 and it's nice to be part of it as I've ridden a handful of them. I'm not sure I was that lucky there as I felt I still had a chance of beating the other horse."
Jacqui O'Neill, Jonjo's wife, added "It's brilliant a great moment for everyone we are absolutely delighted. And I'm pleased it was a horse owned by the Bond family as they have been great supporters of ours over the years."
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