'Man of steel' aims for quick return
Brett Prebble is hoping to be back riding by early March, despite the fractured left collarbone he suffered falling in the opening race last Saturday at Sha Tin.
To many observers, the top Australian jockey looked to have escaped the incident from Telecom Top Star without harm after he was seen walking to the ambulance from the scene of the crash.
'I was always taught, in a situation like that, to stand up quickly and let everyone know that you're not seriously hurt, but my shoulder was pretty painful and still is,' Prebble (pictured) said yesterday after visiting a specialist, who has given him a prognosis with some hope attached to it. 'Normally, it might be five or six weeks for a collarbone but I'm going to get it operated on and put a steel plate in. That speeds the process by a couple of weeks.'
The jockey has also begun treatment in a hyperbaric chamber, which accelerates the natural healing processes by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the injured area, and that has led trainer Caspar Fownes to put off engaging a new rider for Lucky Nine in the Group One Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup on March 4.
'Obviously, Thumbs Up will need a jockey in the Gold Cup [February 26] as that will come up too soon and I'm working on that. But Jeff Lloyd said the hyperbaric chamber helped him come back a lot quicker after he got hurt last season so I'll hold off and see how Brett's progressing before I have to make any decisions about Lucky Nine,' said Fownes, who was also happy to report his apprentice, Vincent Ho Chak-yiu, is in good spirits despite his own fall on the weekend that resulted in a fractured left forearm.
Ho was released from hospital yesterday and his left arm will be in a cast for four weeks.
'He knows he was very lucky to escape with only the injury that he has got,' Fownes said.
'They were going to put a screw in the bone but they decided just to wrap it instead.
'The cast will come off next month and then he'll undergo physiotherapy. I guess it will be about seven weeks all told before he rides again.'