Anna Lisa Balding: "I saw my own life slip away from me"

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Sat 8 Sep 2018
 Grounded: the plane that carried Sir Michael Stoute, Ryan Moore and Gerald Mosse (FocusOnracing)
Grounded: the plane that carried Sir Michael Stoute, Ryan Moore and Gerald Mosse (FocusOnracing)

Anna Lisa Balding praised the actions of the pilot who saved her life on Saturday when the private plane carrying her, Richard and Henry Hannon and apprentice Gary McMahon narrowly avoided hitting hard a stationary plane on the runway in the centre of the course.

Heavy rain throughout the morning had left conditions on the ground rough when the plane attempted to land before racing.

It clipped the wing of a smaller empty plane – one that had been used reportedly by Sir Michael Stoute, Ryan Moore and Gerald Mosse – and skidded on the wet infield at the Merseyside venue.

“Our pilot did an amazing job,” said Balding, wife of trainer Andrew Balding.

“We came in in really bad weather conditions. I don’t what happened, but I do know I saw my own life slip away from me very quickly, but we’re all alive and safe. I saw the Frankie (Dettori, in reference to his crash in 2000) moment a bit."

 Frankie Dettori and George Scott at Kempton (FocusOnRacing)
Frankie Dettori and George Scott at Kempton (FocusOnRacing)

There was better news later in the afternoon when last year's Sussex Stakes hero Here Comes When won the Unibet Mile.

“I’m going home in the lorry," she said. "When you have a winner, you don’t mind how you get home.

“Andrew is on his way to Newcastle today. He’s running in the Great North Run tomorrow. He does it for a friend, who lost his child. He does it every year.”

Stoute reportedly received a lift back to Newmarket from William Haggas.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright confirmed that both planes were affected.

“The bigger plane coming in skidded on landing, apparently spun and clipped the smaller plane,” he said.

“No one was hurt, but neither plane will be flying today.”

As the weather got worse, conditions meant Frankie Dettori and George Scott were unable to make the journey north for James Garfield's run under Richard Kingcote in to 12th behind The Tin Man in the 32Red Sprint Cup.

Dettori, who wore a T-Shirt sporting the slogan, "Frankkie Says Relax" had been scheduled to fly in from Kempton after partnering Enable to victory. The helipcopter took off, but moments later it was announced he would miss the ride.

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