A TOP coach’s daughter-in-law has revealed how she saved his life after suffering a heart attack – a week before they plotted a 200-1 clash winner.
Bruce Purcell, thought to be in his late 70s, was celebrating from home as the oddball outsider and the aptly named Elfi won a huge prize at Cranbourne in Australia.
Emma Astbury was conducting a relatively normal winner’s interview after the race when she revealed the horror of Bruce’s health.
Bruce, who less than two years ago was fighting for his life after being ‘knocked down’ by a frightened horse, was at home with his wife and co-trainer Jean when he went into cardiac arrest.
Emma received a call from her panicked mother and luckily was able to rush in and revive him.
She said: “Bruce, my stepdad, actually had a heart attack and had a seizure last week.
“I was lucky to get a phone call from mum and was able to revive him. He’s at home on the couch with his blanket and he’s going to watch.”
Emma was on the track to see Elfi, a totally unexpected filly, record a memorable win.
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The horse had finished last in its first two starts and traded at a whopping 616-1 in the run on the betting exchange.
However, going a mile for the first time seemed to have a transformative effect on the four-year-old.
Jockey Lewis German who guided the horse to victory admitted he thought the rider had no chance.
He said: “I didn’t really expect her to win the race, I just thought I would be happy if she was competitive and we could go up to 2,000 meters [a mile and a quarter] next race.
“I’m really happy for the Purcell family and that one for Bruce.”
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