Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel gave an update on all three riders. Picture: Jenny Evans
Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel gave an update on all three riders. Picture: Jenny Evans

Jockey in ‘critical condition’ after horror fall

Jockey Michael Hackett remains in a critical condition after being involved in a horror three-horse fall at the Tomingley Cup picnic meeting near Dubbo on Saturday.

Michael Hackett and fellow riders Ricky Blewitt and Michael Gray were all dislodged from their mounts in the Class 2 Trophy Handicap (800m).

Two of the jockeys were airlifted to Sydney for hospital treatment with Hackett's condition of most concern.

It is understood Hackett, a father of two young children, has been unconscious since the fall and underwent surgery to relieve pressure on the brain at Liverpool Hospital on Saturday night.

Hackett's distraught family are by the jockey's bedside and are being supported by Racing NSW officials and representatives of the National Jockeys Trust.

"Michael Hackett remains in a critical condition,'' Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel said.

The experienced Hackett has been riding for more than 15 years primarily on the NSW country circuit. He has ridden 276 career winners with his most recent success on Corazon De Oro at the Cootamundra picnics on April 6.

Most of Hackett's riding in recent months has been in the NSW picnic meetings where the jockeys ride at much higher minimum weights.

Blewitt was airlifted to Westmead Hospital with multiple fractures.

"Ricky Blewitt has three thoracic spine fractures which should heal on their own without surgery,'' Van Gestel said.

"He also has a fractured rib and a possible scapula fracture.''

Gray was transported to Dubbo hospital where he was found to have a fracture clavicle but doctors are waiting for results of further tests.

The Tomingley meeting was abandoned after the fall in the third race.