Du Plessis sidelined for two weeks after horror fall

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 March, 2009, 12:00am

Jockey Mark du Plessis will be sidelined for at least two weeks after falling in Wednesday's Auckland Cup in New Zealand.

Riding Casa De Campo in the NZ$1 million Group One over 3,200m, Du Plessis was in contention passing the 250m mark when a shift from his inside put his mount on the heels of another runner and the pair went down heavily.

Du Plessis was shaken but walked back to the jockeys' room after the fall, having apparently escaped serious injury.

'I thought I was OK but when the medication wore off on Wednesday night, my leg blew up and I checked myself into hospital,' the jockey said yesterday.

'The haematoma goes all the way from my knee to my hip and they were talking about surgery initially but the improvement overnight has been very good and it looks like that won't be necessary.'

Du Plessis said the doctors at Middlemore Hospital anticipated he would be able to leave hospital today, but a return to riding is still a way off.

'I can't fly for 10 days, so I don't know when I'll be back in Hong Kong or riding again,' he said.

'Luckily I had ridden a winner earlier in the day so that will help pay the bills. The fall was just one of those things - I could see a problem coming but couldn't do a lot about it.'

Du Plessis was initially declared for six mounts at Sha Tin tomorrow, but stewards quickly arranged for new jockeys when the full extent of his situation became known.

Darren Beadman takes over on Xaverian Quest (race two), Weichong Marwing on Ribot Legend (race three), Brett Prebble on Lufeng Fortune (race five), Alex Lai Hoi-wing on Booming City (race eight), James Winks on Istide (race nine) and Eddie Lai Wai-ming on Blue Sky (race 10).

The Auckland Cup was won in an upset by 57-1 chance Spin Around, who formerly raced in Hong Kong as Better Boy, trained by Tony Cruz and later Paul O'Sullivan before a tendon injury led to his retirement to New Zealand in mid-2006.

It was the gelding's sixth win in New Zealand, having already won at Group One and Group Two level in late 2007.