A month of riding trackwork, trials and jump-outs has Chris Symons ready for a return to race riding.
Symons has his first ride in five months at the Ballarat Cup meeting on Saturday after a fall at Bendigo.
A fractured T6 vertebrae, a fractured scapula and head trauma resulting in short-term memory loss were the results of the fall in June.
But whiplash took the longest to overcome, not fully clearing until he started riding again.
“I did a lot of physio and water therapy but the main thing that got my neck going again was getting back on a horse,” he said.
Symons said he’s returning two weeks ahead of schedule because his weight didn’t get out of control.
He was also surprised he wasn’t as sore as he thought he would be in his first days back.
He’s stepped up the intensity of his work in the past week riding 11 horses in work on Monday and another six in jump-outs at Sandown on Tuesday.
One of those rides was Sonntag, his mount in the Ballarat Cup.
He said he’s had a successful association with Sonntag’s trainer Henry Dwyer and had ridden the gelding before, including in the Australian Cup at Flemington earlier in the year.
“I’ve ridden on and off for Henry over the years but he’s also owned by a good friend of mine Shane Anderson, so it’s good to have a ride in a feature race,” Symons said.
Another mount is Murt The Flirt which makes his return to racing in the Magic Millions Three & Four-Year-Old Classic.
Murt The Flirt is unbeaten in two runs at Ballarat and won the corresponding race on debut last year when restricted to three-year-olds.
“I’ve been trialling him and riding him trackwork in the last three or four weeks,” Symons said.
“He’s going along nicely.”
Symons is booked for three other mounts on Saturday and his five rides are for four different trainers.
He said it was a subtle change to his business that while still riding for trainers who have supported him he’s also branching out.
And Symons can’t wait for Saturday.
“I’m rarin’ to go,” he said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au