Police are trying to determine the cause of a mysterious accident that has left a Kembla Grange thoroughbred trainer fighting for his life in Wollongong Hospital.
Erwin Takacs was found unconscious not far from a swimming pool used to exercise horses at a Kembla Grange property on Sunday afternoon.
Concerns were raised when a horse was captured wandering a nearby street with a swimming pole used to lead it still attached.
Mr Takacs was found shortly after and rushed to hospital to treat his injuries, including bleeding inside his skull.
It is believed the horse dragged an unconscious Mr Takacs a significant distance from the pool on Kingston Town Drive, causing life-threatening head trauma.
Mr Takacs underwent an operation on Sunday night and remained on life support yesterday.
Racing NSW's Dr Ron Muratore relayed Mr Takacs's prognosis as "guarded" while the hospital listed the 64-year-old trainer's condition as critical last night.
Lake Illawarra police acting inspector Steve Worthington said detectives were continuing their investigations.
"Detectives from Lake Illawarra are trying to ascertain the exact cause [of the injury]," Insp Worthington said.
"It's possible that he may have been kicked or dragged by the horse as he was exercising [it] and that's what we're following up."
Insp Worthington said early investigations suggested there was nothing suspicious, but anyone with information was urged to contact Lake Illawarra police.
Racing NSW reported Mr Takacs was more than likely involved in a mishap with the horse he was tending to.
The governing body's safety officer, Maurice Logue, said Mr Takacs's condition was brought to their attention by fellow Kembla trainer Kristie George.
Illawarra Turf Club chief executive officer Peter De Vries said the Kembla racing fraternity would rally behind Mr Takacs.
"I think I speak on behalf of everyone in the racing community in wishing Erwin a speedy recovery," he said.
Mr Takacs handles a small team from his Kembla base and came within a whisker of winning the Illawarra Turf Club's Horse of the Year title last season with promising filly Judaea.
He has been no stranger to some of Sydney's bigger sprint races over the past 12 months, taking over the preparation of former Adelaide horse Fire Thunderbolt before last year's autumn carnival.
The horse ran sixth in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) and then progressed to contest the Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m).