Auckland harness racing driver Frank Cooney was in a critical condition in Auckland hospital after a race smash tonight at Alexandra Park.
Cooney was knocked unconscious driving favourite Awesome Desire in the first race of the meeting.
Cooney's drive was tightened and fell, and the Kumeu horseman was hit from behind by another runner as he fell to the track.
He lay motionless for several minutes before being taken to hospital by ambulance.
The race was abandoned and the Auckland Trotting Club meeting was delayed by an hour.
Cooney is an Alexandra Park regular and is greatly respected in the harness racing industry after a career in which he has driven more than 600 winners.