Not your usual stag party: Deer in lucky racecourse escape

Not your usual stag party: Deer in lucky racecourse escape

Newcastle racecourse has played host to countless stag dos over the years - but never quite like this.

Jockeys were caught on the hop at the Gosforth Park venue when two deer crossed the track during the first race of the evening meeting on Wednesday.

Luv U Whatever had built up a commanding lead under Barry McHugh, but the rider had not counted upon the two dynamic invaders, who gamely galloped across the all-weather circuit and into adjacent woodland.

The mile-and-a-half handicap was won by Desert Ruler, with Luv U Whatever second.

Runners in the final race at Cheltenham last month were also joined by an unexpected participant after a dog escaped on to the track.

The dog joined the field on the run down to the penultimate flight of a three-mile handicap hurdle, which was won by Arthur's Gift.

Newcastle clerk of the course James Armstrong said: "Gosforth Park is an 800-plus acre estate with wildlife and we do see roe deer.

"But they are not usually expected to come out at that time of the day, and especially in the centre of the track.

"We do try to keep an eye out for them - we have spotters at the three-and-a-half-furlong marker - but it's obviously not that easy with wildlife.

"We just have to manage it as best as we can."

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