Sheikh Fahad falls in Plate

Tim Gredley riding Bivouac in the Newmarket Town Plate

Tim Gredley lived out a life-long ambition in steering Bivouac to glory in a dramatic 348th Newmarket Town Plate.

The former international show-jumper used his skills in the saddle to galvanise the former Nicky Henderson-trained gelding to a facile success in three-mile-six-furlong contest.

Having sat just off the early pace, Gredley sent his mount on to what was to be a race-winning advantage just over a mile and a quarter out.

As Bivouac continued to find more out in front there was late drama in behind, with Sheikh Fahad Al Thani aboard last year's winner Almagest coming off his mount and over the rails inside the final two furlongs, just as he was beginning to close the deficit.

Despite getting tired close to the line the James Owen-trained gelding Bivouac was kept up to his work by Gredley to cross the line a comfortable 12 lengths clear of All We Know.

The winning rider said: "You don't realise how far it is until you turn into the home straight. Luckily I was on a nice horse and he got me home.

"To be honest I had been training very hard for it. You don't appreciate how hard race-riding is until you try it yourself.

"I bought him to do a bit of point-to-point riding. Nicky Henderson said he was basically in full training. He probably needed a bit of a confidence booster, and so did I.

"James Owen trains him and has been fantastic. I have been going to his to ride out every morning.

"The first bit went to plan as I sat fifth or sixth. There was a massive gap and I either had to slow down or join the first three. I joined the ones in front and luckily it came off.

"I have been coming to the July Course since I was a child so to ride on it let alone win on it is great."

Watching on was his father and leading owner Bill Gredley, who was as delighted with the victory as his son.

Gredley senior said: "It's extraordinary. He was determined to win it. If not this year, next year. He had trained very hard for it.

"I saw the horse work the other morning with a nice colt from Michael Bell's . We knew he would run well, but we didn't know if he would stay the trip."

Clerk of the course Michael Prosser reported Sheikh Fahad, the head of the Qatar Racing operation, to have suffered no injuries as a result of his fall.

He said: "He is fine and has been checked over in the medical room."

Sheikh Fahad later tweeted: "What a shame. Saddle slipped. Thankfully I'm fine, just off to get a stitch or two to minor head wound. Thank you medical team at Newmarket."


Read More at Sky Sports Racing

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