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Fearless Freddie raises £2,000 on racing debut

Intrepid seven-year-old has big ambitions

Pony racing: has fired jockey ambition in Freddie Fletcher
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The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford is more than £2,000 better off thanks to one of its former patients Freddie Fletcher's efforts in a charity pony race at Ashey on the Isle of Wight.

What makes Fletcher's efforts all the more remarkable is he is only seven, and before Christmas he was in a coma in the Oxford hospital with a virus infection.

Fletcher finished fourth in a field of ten in his first race after months of coaching from jockey David Crosse, who was impressed.

"He gave his pony some ride and is going to be class," said Crosse after watching a video of the race in which Fletcher was placed fourth after his pony Tommy ran out at the last of ten hurdles when disputing second.

His father James said: "He was surprisingly not nervous and did extremely well against riders twice his age and rode a big finish. He was gutted but was very professional and congratulated the winner.

"Now all he wants to do is get me to take him to Ireland to pony race and is adamant he wants to be a jump jockey."

Anyone wishing to donate to the John Radcliffe hospital can do so at Freddie Fletcher charity page.

He gave his pony some ride and is going to be class

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