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Wishfull Thinking falls through the rails

Wishfull Thinking crashes through the rails after falling in Champion Chase

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Photographer hurt during Champion Chase

FRENCH photographer Jean-Charles Briens was taken to hospital to be treated for facial injuries after Wishfull Thinking fell and crashed through the rails in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Jockey Richard Johnson was stood down for the rest of the afternoon following the incident, which took place at the fence in front of the stands with a circuit left to run in the race. Johnson suffered a soft tissue injury and he will have to pass the doctor before riding on Wednesday.

Fellow photographer Dan Abraham, who was nearby, said: "The horse seemed to roll over and flip into the photographers and members of the public were there as well.

"The horse seemed to kick Jean-Charles in the face, it was really nasty. He is a French photographer who has been coming for years and he is very experienced.

"It was a freak accident, I've hardly ever seen that happen. We are close to the action and we know the dangers. We are conscious of what can happen but that was a freak.

"We have a double rail down there, which keeps us apart from the horses when they are jumping, but the problem is that those horses are very close to you.

"We have got remote cameras but we are trying to get close as we want the best pictures. It's difficult but we have safety measures on every racecourse."

Wishfull Thinking got up after the fall and was reported to be okay.

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