A jockey who answered a last-minute plea on Twitter scored a big win after stopping for a McDonald’s on the way to her unscheduled ride.
Racheal Kneller spotted a tweet on Tuesday morning from owner Vaughan Lewis, whose horse Ruacana was without a rider for the Flat Jockeys Can Jump Handicap Hurdle at Lingfield after booked jockey Trevor Whelan’s flight was cancelled.
Help please Racing Twitter— Vaughan Lewis (@VaughanLewis1) November 19, 2019
Urgently need flat jockey to ride favourite in 1pm at lingfield @trevor_whelan3 flight been cancelled unfortunately
Anyone know a flat jockey who wants to win a hurdle race??
Kneller dashed to the Surrey course from Berkshire to take the ride on the Zoe Davison-trained 10-year-old – but not before stopping at McDonald’s for some pre-race fuel.
It did the trick as she rode Ruacana, carrying a 7lb penalty for winning at the track a week ago, to a 10-length victory.
“That was great fun. He jumped well. He was a schoolmaster – he met everything perfect and I was just a passenger. He was an absolute superstar,” Kneller told Sky Sports Racing.
Absolutely buzzing to be riding in the flat jockeys hurdle race at @LingfieldPark today!! I feel extremely lucky to have Ruacana as my partner too who looks to be in great form at the minute. #jumpjockeyforaday #dreamcometrue— racheal kneller (@jockeyrach) November 19, 2019
“I said I ought to go jumping – I had a McDonald’s on the way here and these weights are much better!”
Jockeys carry more weight in races over hurdles than on the flat, allowing Kneller the unusual pre-race treat.
The win was Kneller’s first success of 2019 – after 35 winless rides on the flat.
“I had a chocolate milkshake on the way there and I’ll be having Champagne when I get home,” she told BBC Sport.