The final turf fixture of the British racing season at Doncaster has been engulfed by sadness as people struggle to come to terms with jockey Freddy Tylicki’s paralysis.
Tylicki has been told by doctors he has a T7 paralysis, meaning he has movement in the upper half of his body but not the lower, after he sustained spinal injuries in a fall at Kempton last Monday.
St Leger-winning jockey George Baker summed up the whole mood at Doncaster.
“It’s devastating news,” Baker said.
“We had an idea it wasn’t going to be good news the longer the week went on, but when it was finally confirmed, it still hit us hard.
“The weighing room is a very sombre place at the moment, we’re all still in shock.
“Our thoughts are obviously with Freddy and his family.
“I’m sure we’ll all rally around and try to keep his spirits up.”
Former trainer Jack Berry, the mastermind behind the new jockeys’ rehabilitation centre in Malton, Jack Berry House, said: “It’s desperate news.
“He’s a cracking kid, always very cheerful, and he’d made a huge breakthrough this year, riding two Group One winners for James Fanshawe.
“The one small consolation is that he’ll be very well looked after by the Injured Jockeys Fund.
“It’s a very strange atmosphere here.”
The Professional Jockeys Association said it would give Tylicki as “much support” as possible.
“The weighing room will be behind Freddy and his family and we are wishing him all the best,” PJA executive director Dale Gibson told At The Races:
“He will have significant support from the IJF (Injured Jockeys Fund), the PJA and the wider industry.
“The jockeys have been absolutely superb with their support in such a small space of time.
“He was a genuinely likeable and popular figure in the weighing room.
“We’re just hoping his positivity and that strong-willed character can continue for the weeks and months ahead.”