Jockey Larry Cassidy will remain sidelined for approximately another four weeks.
The 42-time Group 1 winning jockey was injured in a fall at the barrier trials on March 2 at Doomben.
“I came out of the gates. I lost my iron and it sort of dragged my foot back and I fell very awkwardly,” explained Cassidy. “I’ve been riding thirty-five years and I’ve never lost my iron before … ever!
“It wasn’t the horse’s fault. It was just a freak accident.
“I landed very, very poorly … I landed on my face which gave me a shocking black eye. They thought I might have broken my eye-socket, but I knew I hadn’t broken it because it didn’t really hurt. It just felt a bit weird. It was funny that, no matter how bad my eye looked, it didn’t hurt at all.
“I was more concerned about my wrist and my knee, which I’ve had trouble with before. My knee was good, but my wrist has a very small fracture …. that’s on my right wrist down the little finger side.
“Luckily it is not too bad, but I have also torn some ligaments.
“I was still going to ride straight away again at the next meeting, even when I knew of the fracture, because I squeeze a fist really good … but the doctor said no. He said if any happened, and the fragments moved, I could end up having an operation which obviously I didn’t want to happen.
“Then, when I woke up the Saturday morning, I discovered I had either done my rib cartilage or had a small hair-line fracture of a rib … so I wouldn’t have been able to ride any way.
“I saw a specialist yesterday and the news was very good. He said my wrist injury was relatively minor, but that it would still be a case of six weeks out of the saddle for it to heal.
“I’ve been out for two weeks already. They’ve got me in a cast which they made for me … which I can take on and off … and they’ve given me some exercises to do.
“I am getting more movement into my wrist. Five days ago, I couldn’t brush my teeth right-handed. It was too painful so I had to use my left hand, but now I can brush my teeth with my right hand. Before that, every little movement was hurting … so I’m making good progress.
‘The ribcage is much, much better as well.
“I go back to see the specialist on March 30. He will be guided by how I am doing, but I’m very confident that he will clear me to ride trackwork … and then race-day. Obviously, I have to get on a horse first to fully test the wrist.
“The first two or three days back will tell me if it is right or not, but I am hoping to ride trackwork from that Wednesday after I see the specialist through to Saturday and then, all going well, to resume race-riding the following Wednesday. If it is not right, I will just take another ten days.
“As far as maintaining my fitness over this six-week period is concerned, at least it is my wrist, so I have been walking. My weight did blow out a little bit in the first week, but I’m watching it now and walking around at 58kg, 57.5kg. That’s about the same weight I was walking around with when I was riding.
“Any extended time out is obviously frustrating.
“I went through a patch where I was riding a lot of winners. Then most of them went for a spell and I had a bit of a lean time … and I was just seeing things really start to kick into gear again when I was sidelined and have had to miss a few winners.
“It’s all part of the job though. Like with any fall, you can think you are unlucky to have been involved in an incident, but equally, you can count yourself lucky you didn’t come off any worse and you just have to keep moving forward.”