It was one of those incidents that came out of left field … a jockey being pole-axed by the clerk of the course’s pony who kicked out and caught the unfortunate rider full-on just when he was about to mount his horse.
Apprentice Justin Huxtable had been carrying all before him before that moment but, as he lay on the ground, his treatment and recovery surpassed all other priorities and now, nearly five weeks later, it is pleasing to report that Huxtable is on the verge of a return to the track.
“This Saturday it will be five weeks that I’ve been out,” said Huxtable, “and I’m looking to go and see a sports specialist on Monday and I’m hoping to get a clearance for trackwork on Tuesday. That’s trackwork and trials on Tuesday and looking to be back at the races on the Saturday.
“It has been frustrating. Most people know I’m not the type of person that likes sitting around too much, but I didn’t have an option really as I did come away from the incident with a ruptured spleen and internal bleeding.
‘After they operated, I was in quite a bit of pain,” continued Huxtable. “They had to put a coil in my spleen to join it back together and stop it bleeding which left me in quit a bit if pain for a week or so, but it healed quite quickly I thought.
“My last blood test showed that my spleen is working fine … perfectly.
“Like I say, I’ll be looking for that clearance to get back.
“I will certainly be guided by what the specialist says. I am hoping he says it is all good to go … no worries … that will be great. On the other hand, if he says I have to step aside for a little more time then I’ll do that.
“Even though I do want to get back desperately to the race riding, you have got to put your body first, I guess, but I am hoping to get the go-ahead on Monday.”