Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes will forever feel indebted to Freddy Tylicki — the jockey who was left paralysed from the waist down as the result of a fall at Kempton Park on October 31.
The Injured Jockeys Fund revealed late on Friday that the 30-year-old, who like Fellowes is based at Racing Headquarters, had suffered T7 paralysis in the four-horse pile-up.
The severity of the injury has cut short a career that had started to promise much, highlighted by Tylicki forming a productive partnership with the James Fanshawe-trained Speedy Boarding that yielded two Group 1 victories earlier this year.
It was during his stint as Fanshawe’s assistant that Fellowes first encountered Tylicki, and the pair forged a strong bond when the St Gatien Cottage Stables trainer decided to go it alone in 2013.
Indeed, it was the German-born jockey that rode Fellowes’ first ever winner — Barbary, in a seven-furlong handicap at Lingfield on February 19, 2014.
Paying tribute to his colleague and friend, Fellowes said: “Freddy gave me one of the happiest days of my life at Lingfield. I will never forget it.
“He has had a huge impact on my career, even when I was an assistant to James.
“Freddy has always been there for me to call for advice and it is fair to say that I would not have achieved what I did in the first couple of years without him.
“Sadly, as Freddy’s popularity increased in Newmarket I was able to call upon him to ride for me less and less.
“I owe him so much and I am gutted that I will never have the chance to train a big winner for the both of us to enjoy.”
Attention has now switched to the next stage of Tylicki’s life, with the racing community having already raised in excess of £250,000 on a GoFundMe page set up by At The Races presenter Matt Chapman.
Some tough days lay ahead over the coming months, but Fellowes is confident Tylicki has the strength of character to deal with the adversity.
“If anyone can come out on top from this then it’s Freddy. He is a tough lad,” he added.
“He is such a bubbly, nice character who has made a lot of friends.
“There are a lot of negatives and flaws in our industry, but in times of trouble it is a big family.
“On a personal level, everyone in my yard wants to wish him well and we all want to help any way we can.”
n Following his Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf success on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Queen’s Trust on Saturday, Frankie Dettori used his Ladbrokes blog to dedicate his victory to Tylicki.
“I began to think of my mate back home, Freddy Tylicki, and how fickle this game can be,” he wrote.
“Although Breeders’ Cup wins are amongst the most coveted prizes in the sport, I’d have gladly swapped them all to have heard that things weren’t as bad as they seem to be for Freddy.
“My Breeders’ Cup win was for Freddy. Keep fighting mate.”