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The condition of a country NSW trackwork rider injured in a fall has improved but he remains on life support, a Racing NSW spokesman says.

Paul Rowe suffered serious chest injuries at Moruya on the NSW south coast on Tuesday morning.

He was thrown off his horse when it was spooked as it worked with two galloping partners.

One of the accompanying horses struck out and kicked Rowe in the chest, rupturing the left ventricle of his heart and causing a collapsed chamber.

He was airlifted to Canberra Hospital where he underwent open heart surgery.

“The doctors are astounded by Paul’s survival and he is now on full life support,” Racing NSW jockey safety officer Maurice Logue said.

“His condition has improved slightly but he is still critical and he’s by no means out of the woods yet.”

Further surgery on Thursday was postponed after doctors reassessed Rowe’s condition.

“They may operate again later tonight or leave it until tomorrow,” Logue said.

Rowe’s wife Kristy George trains a team of racehorses and Logue said fellow Moruya trainers had rallied behind the couple to run their stable.

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