Miraculous Moore holds on to third

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Minellatillmorning won the Happy Birthday Sarah Cotty Handicap Hurdle. Picture: Fontwell Park

Balding celebrates Glory at Fontwell

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Lady Luck failed to smile on Fruity O’Rooney’s Sky Bet Chase bid at Doncaster on Saturday.

However, jockey Jamie Moore worked miracles in the plate to take third spot and more than £8,000 in prize money.

With four fences left to jump in the Yorkshire track’s lucrative three-mile contest, Fruity O’Rooney led the field of 15 runners.

But after clearing the fence on the 22/1 shot, Moore’s saddle began to slip.

He was headed by Nicky Henderson’s Grand National contender Shakalakaboomboom.

And while eventual 12/1 winner Calgary Bay also edged past, he was still in with a shout at the final jump.

A blunder at the last – his only real mistake during the whole contest – put paid to his chances, though.

And it also saw Moore lose his irons.

But remarkably, the jockey battled on without pedals to cling to third spot by more than four lengths from Tony McCoy on Galaxy Rock.

It was a stunning feat of horsemanship from Moore, son of the horse’s West Sussex trainer Gary Moore.

Earlier, the switch to a left-handed course looked to have paid dividends for the Lower Beeding-based challenger, who has been prone to jumping left.

Prominent throughout, Fruity O’Rooney was the only one of those ridden handy to threaten in the latter stages.

Connections are now considering a return to Doncaster for the Grimthorpe in March.

Moore’s only other ride on the Doncaster card was Tobago Bay, who finished seventh of nine in the Money Off Your Sky Bill At Skybet Handicap Hurdle.

The family-run yard will be hoping for better luck at Plumpton this afternoon.

They are set to saddle Lupanar in the attheraces.com Exclusive Hugh Taylor Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap at 3.15pm.

And then go to war with Ministry in the At The Races Virgin 534 Handicap Hurdle (3.50pm).

Storrington trainer Richard Rowe is also represented, with 128-rated Aikideau contesting the attheraces.com Novices’ Hurdle (2.10pm) and It Wasn’t Us in the opener – the attheraces.com Track Your Favourite Horse Maiden Hurdle at 1.10pm.