A painful fall during trackwork has accidentally presented Jason Attard with a fresh perspective on training as his broken shoulder mends.
Hawkesbury-based Attard won’t be back on a horse for at least six weeks, and even when he is able to handle his team at close quarters again, watching from afar will still be a priority.
Since the incident Attard has been monitoring his horses through binoculars from the stands as wife Lucy and jockey Claire Nutman put the likes of Kellyville Flyer and Reiby The Red through their paces.
Attard has no qualms about riding again, but looking on from a distance has broadened his horizons.
“As frustrating as it’s been, it’s sort of been a blessing in disguise,” Attard said.
“I’m used to being on the horses or beside them and getting a feel for them that way.”
Now he is relying on feedback from track riders and marrying that insight with what he sees.
“Having a chat to riders and getting a perspective from the grandstand has been really good for me,” he said.
“You can see the horse’s action (from the stands). You can see how they’re getting through the ground and how they pull up.”
So when Attard is passed fit to ride, he will mix up his training regime.
“I’ll do a bit of both,” he said.
“I’ll still be on the young ones, the trickier ones, but for track gallops I’ll be putting more lightweight jockeys on and getting their perspective while also having a look from the grandstand.”
Attard has two runners at Rosehill on Saturday although a clash between Kellyville Flyer and Reiby The Red is not guaranteed in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1500m).
Kellyville Flyer has been off colour recently so her involvement may hinge on blood tests.
“She just doesn’t look quite right to me. She’s off her feed and she’s a good eater,” Attard said.
Reiby The Red is primed to perform third-up on a heavy track that should suit despite his last-start seventh.
“He’s going good,” Attard said.
“He had to deal with a pretty bad barrier (13) last time and he’s a real on-pace sort of horse, an out in front type deal. That was a bit too hard for him last time to overcome the barrier.”
Attard was far happier with gate four and the in-form Tim Clark will be aboard with 53kg.