A jockey who crashed his car while three times over the drink-drive limit was released from custody with just enough time to reach his next race.

Christopher Murray, 24, was arrested after watching the Grand National on Saturday at a pub with friends.

He was detained for 18 hours before being released from the Brighton custody suite in Hollingbury on Sunday.

He had to rush to Lingfield racecourse in Surrey and arrived just in time to take part in the 4.10pm race - but failed to finish in the front three.

Murray, who is based at Home Gate Stables at Plumpton, near Lewes, was arrested after he was involved in a crash in Lewes Road, Brighton, on Saturday evening.

Brighton magistrates yesterday warned him he could face jail after he admitted charges of careless driving, driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop after an accident.

The court heard Murray, driving a Ford Mondeo, shunted into the car in front, which was waiting at a red traffic light.

The other driver suffered minor injuries and his car was damaged.

Martina Sherlock, prosecuting, said the two drivers agreed to pull over at a nearby garage forecourt to exchange insurance details.

Murray, who smelt of alcohol and was slurring his words, appeared vague and soon drove off. The police were called and stopped his car soon afterwards.

He gave a test reading of 118mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

The court heard Murray, who has no previous convictions, was driving on a provisional licence and without insurance.

Michael Cole, defending, said Murray was due to ride in five races at Plumpton this Sunday.

He said Murray had no intention of driving on the night of the offences and had expected his girlfriend to collect him from the pub. But there was a change of plan and he decided to drive the short distance to her home.

He said Murray would have to foot the bill for repairs to the other driver's car of up to £300 and his own vehicle was a write-off.

He said his job, in which he earns about £300 a week, would not be affected as he could get a lift to the courses from his trainer.

Mr Cole said: "But it is going to be very inconvenient for him to pursue his profession."

Magistrates adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports to be prepared. Murray was granted bail until April 28.