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New Zealand jockey Leith Innes will spend four to six weeks out of the saddle recovering from knee surgery but will be back in time to partner Provocative in her spring campaign.

Innes, who won the Queensland Oaks earlier this month on the Tony Pike-trained filly will ride at Avondale on Wednesday and have surgery on his ACL two days later.

“It’s been an ongoing injury. I fell off a few years ago and it has bugged me ever since,” Innes told nzracing.co.

“The ACL ligament isn’t that good. The MCL isn’t much better and the surgeon wanted me to get both done at the same time but the recovery time for MCL surgery was going to be eight or nine months.

“They seem to think I’ll be off for four to six weeks but doctors always err on the longer side, so I think I’ll be back at the start of August.”

Provocative’s Oaks win was one of four this season for Innes who also rode Kawi to wins in the Makfi Challenge Stakes, Zabeel Classic and Thorndon Mile.

“I’ve had a really good season,” Innes said.

“Provocative is quite special. She was my Derby ride here before she was ruled out the week of the race. She would have been awfully hard to beat had she started at Ellerslie.

“But Tony has always had confidence in her and he got her to the Oaks in terrific order. It was a shame they had to abandon the Oaks meeting the week before because she would have been a great chance of backing up and winning the Queensland Derby the next Saturday too.”

Provocative is a $26 chance in early Caulfield Cup markets which are headed by Derby winners Tarzino and Tavago.

The Mick Price-trained Tarzino won the Victoria Derby and finished fourth in the Australian Derby won by Tavago who is trained by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young.

 
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