JOCKEY Jason Hart was anything but a deer in the headlights at Newcastle last night.
The alert jock managed to narrowly dodge a four-legged intruder – who could have caused carnage in the opening race of the all-weather evening card.
A group of deer managed to get beneath railings and onto the back straight at the track – while the race was going on.
Hart, 25, was in the lead aboard the 33-1 longshot Jack Yeats in the eight-runner 1m4f contest.
He suddenly pulled on the reins and swerved his horse around one of the deer – who could have caused a potentially nasty collision.
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Luckily, Group 2-winning rider Hart was able to avoid any interference with the other runners in the field.
Man on the mic Alan Howes was quick the spot the deer – who aren't uncommon visitors at the Gosforth Park course.
According to the BHA stewards' report three deer were on the course around six furlongs from home.
And clerk of the course James Armstrong was relieved that all the jockeys, horses and deer were unhurt.
He said: "They're wild animals and they roam about the park and they happened to run out about 50 yards in front of the horses in the first race.
"We have the odd incident but we have people out marshalling and covering the area we know they travel across, but they're wild animals and they roam about.
"There's not really a lot we can do other than drive round and check they're not out during racing.
"Obviously you can't cover every area of a vast expansive area of acreage."
The race was eventually won by the Philip Kirby-trained 6-1 chance Madeeh – with Hart and Jack Yeats finishing in last place.
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