Jenny Duggan is one lucky lady despite confirming an array of injuries a day after her horror fall at Scone on Friday.
She had a CT scan on Friday night which showed a small bruise on her brain but with no major damage.
She posted on her Facebook page on Saturday: “I’m feeling very lucky to be writing this … I have a fracture in the bottom of my skull, some bleeding on my brain, a broken nose, concussion and we are still working out what is happening with my shoulder”.
The skull fracture should be able to be managed by a neck brace, according to doctors.
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Duggan went over the top of her horse and Robert Thompson’s mount Tombolo tripped over it and the recently turned 62-year-old too fell but walked away unharmed.
The fact racing has survived the coronavirus so far doesn’t just mean the sport’s future is looking pretty at present. A shutdown of the industry would have effects that last many years later. Stables wouldn’t be the same for a while, according to trainer Michael Hawkes, who remembers what equine influenza did in 2007.
“EI killed us, it hit us hard,” Hawkes said. “The industry shut down and we lost a lot of people who went out and got normal jobs and a lot of them were thinking ‘wow, how good is this (non-earlier work hours). This is life’.”
Trackwork time shift?
Michael Hawkes is still happy enough with the start times for trackwork, although the likes of Chris Waller has said for some time that he would like to see them pushed back an hour. Maybe the key is not training in town. Kris Lees has more horses than most but he’s still asleep while the big boys in town are working runners.
“At Newcastle, I don’t work a horse until 5.30am,” Lees said. “I don’t get up until 4.30am and that’s a big difference (compared to city trainers). We do travel further than most stables, to be fair, so to wake up any earlier would be ridiculous. I’ve got no doubt we’d get more younger people in racing if we started track work later.”
Jason Collett is one jockey who was happy to be riding at Rosehill on Saturday after a nerve-racking experience flying in a small plane to Scone last year for the stand-alone meeting.
“I wasn’t a great flyer,” Collett said. “A bit of turbulence didn’t sit well with me … I didn’t sit well, I should say. I’m usually pretty good on the big planes but when you get the turbulence we were getting in that little plane, it got pretty bad and it put the wind up me.
“When you’re rising then all of a sudden drop and your head hits the roof, I don’t think anyone can say they’re used to that.”
Glen Boss was also happy to ride at Rosehill but echoed what many in the industry couldn’t wait for once coronavirus restrictions ease. “When it’s up at Scone it’s even better, so hopefully next year we’ll be there,” he said.
Start of it all …
It was five years ago on Saturday that Winx started her legendary 33-race win streak in the Sunshine Coast Guineas. Take us back.
Apprentice jockey Georgina Cartwright must be poplar in the South Australian jockeys’ room. She brought her peers a caramel slice to enjoy last weekend at Morphettville. Who in Sydney could step up to the plate?
HORSES TO FOLLOW: Air To Air (going to win soon), Sally’s Day (underrated), Romani Girl (next start).
ONES TO SACK: Graff (forgotten how to win), True Detective (no excuses again).
RIDE OF THE DAY: Nash Rawiller on Costello (saved up plenty of energy).
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “No, The Everest isn’t on his radar right now, we’re realistic,” said James Cummings regarding Rainer, who won the Luskin Star, a race Osborne Bulls and Trekking won before running in The Everest.
Dr Drill powers to victory in Cup
When Ciaron Maher and David Eustace took Age Of Fire to the Scone Cup last year to run last, Sydney stable foreman Annabel Neasham told them they better bring something better for the race in 2020 — and they did.
Dr Drill was the horse they picked as their Scone Cup runner this year and he didn’t let the team down with a gritty win after given a top ride by Keagan Latham.
The five-year-old got into a good spot behind the speed and when a gap opened up in the straight, Latham drove him through it and the talented stayer did the rest. He beat a wall of horses who produced big finishes as $3.90 favourite Phaistos ran second, with Sambro in third while Black On Gold ran one of the best seventh placings you’ll ever see.
Neasham, who runs the Maher/Eustace Sydney operation, said this year the trip out to Scone was worth it.
“It was super,” she said. “We were quite confident this would be his sort of race and it was a beautiful ride from Keagan. I said to him ‘just really cuddle the horse.’. Last start we just rode him a little bit wrong over 1400m when we had him at his top the whole way.
“We knew he’d travel much further at a mile. He’s got a really good turn of foot.”
Dr Drill has been trained differently since arriving at the Maher/Eustace stable to be successful in the Australian conditions. And he proved to be good value for his followers when sent out an $11 chance yesterday after running 11th last start at Randwick.
“He was at 2400m horse back in Europe but Ciaron does a great job with these European horses and getting a bit of speed back into their legs,” Neasham said.
Earlier in the day, The Bopper won the $100,000 Inglis 2YO Challenge (1100m) by a huge margin as Kris Lees looks to have found a very good horse.
The Bopper led them up from a wide gate then kicked again at the top of the straight to defeat Miss Kojiki by four lengths with Samantha Clenton on board.
“He showed us a bit from day one,” Lees said. “He trialled up well, was impressive on debut and probably went to another level today. He looks to be a nice horse in the making.’’