Jockey Kieren Fox was lucky to emerge unscathed after a stray golf ball sent him flying from his horse.

Fox, who was riding Luxford in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes, hit the deck during the closing stages of the race after the ball flew up from the turf.

It appeared to be kicked up by Big Lachie, before bouncing off the helmet of Charlie Bennett, who was riding Stanhope, and then firing across the vision of Luxford and Fox, who veered to the right before falling.

Big Lachie, ridden by Pat Cosgrave, eventually won the race ahead of William Carson's Commander Cole.


The racecourse at Sandown Park also houses Sandown Golf Course and the Sandown Park Golf Centre, which could offer an explanation as to how the ball ended up on the track.

Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper admitted the freak incident was unavoidable due to the circuit's close proximity to the golf centre.

'With a golf course within a racecourse balls are bound to stray, and we take all reasonable and appropriate measures to remove them,' he told the Racing Post.

'We find them regularly and on a raceday, but the reality is when the grass is four or five inches long you often have to step on a golf ball to know it's there.

'Thankfully, while we do see one flicked up once in a while, I can't think of an instance in the last couple of years and I've never seen it happen with that sort of consequence before.'

Following his earlier fall, Fox picked himself up and rode First Experience to victory in the Kingsway Claims Fillies' Handicap later in the afternoon.