Anna Lisa Balding praised the actions of the pilot when she and a small party, including trainer Richard Hannon, had a narrow escape after their light aircraft was involved in an incident with a stationary plane on the runway in the centre of the course at Haydock Park.
Conditions on the ground were rough when the plane attempted to land before racing. It clipped the wing of a smaller empty plane – one that had been used by Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore – and skidded on the wet infield at the Merseyside venue.
Balding, wife of trainer Andrew Balding, expressed how frightening it had been and referenced the crash that involved Frankie Dettori in 2000 and tragically resulted in pilot Patrick Mackey losing his life.
She said: “Our pilot did an amazing job. 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 moment a bit.
“I’m going home in the lorry. 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.”
Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright gave an account of what happened.
“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.”
Conditions meant Dettori himself was unable to make the journey north to ride James Garfield in the 32Red Sprint Cup.
He had been scheduled to fly in from Kempton after partnering the brilliant Enable to victory earlier in the afternoon.
“Frankie has been replaced. Richard Kingscote is riding the horse now,” said Tellwright.