Umberto Rispoli joins long list of injured jockeys after scary Happy Valley tumble
The Italian rider has been stood down from Saturday’s meeting while apprentice Jack Wong is out indefinitely after undergoing ankle surgery on Thursday
The fallout from Wednesday night’s horror fall at Happy Valley continues with Italian jockey Umberto Rispoli stood down from Saturday’s meeting at Sha Tin with leg injuries and feeling like he has been “run over by a bus”.
Jack Wong Ho-nam had already been diagnosed with a fractured left ankle after falling from Dashing King and the apprentice underwent surgery for a pin to be inserted into the damaged joint on Thursday afternoon.
After initially accepting rides for Saturday’s meeting, Rispoli failed to recover sufficiently from knee and ankle swelling after being spectacularly thrown to the turf from Mr Pele and bouncing back into the air as he attempted to tumble to safety.
“I have received lots of calls and texts, it was shocking for people to see. After I hit the ground I flew up to the same height as the horse and it shocked me as well, when I watched it again,” Rispoli said.
“I feel like I have been run over like a bus – it was a bad fall and I am sore, the day after is always the hardest.”
When the Italian jockey spoke to the Post he was en route to St Theresa’s Hospital in Kowloon City, where he will stay overnight and undergo MRI scans on his left knee and ankle on Friday morning.
“After going to hospital on Wednesday night I went home, but I couldn’t sleep because of the pain in my leg,” he said. “There is nothing broken, but there is some swelling in my knee and ankle, I am going back to the hospital to stay tonight and for an MRI in the morning to check the ligaments.”
Wong is the latest in a string of local jockeys to be sidelined for a significant stretch, with a timeline yet to be placed on when he can return.
Irish newcomer Oisin Murphy begins a six-month stint on Saturday, bringing the number of available jockeys to 17 and Ben So Tik-hung was also given a clearance to return to trackwork after recovering from a concussion suffered in a fall last month.
So could return as early as the meeting at Sha Tin on November 20, but there will be just three local riders available at Happy Valley on Wednesday night with Wong’s injury bringing the total to five Chinese jockeys currently on the injured list.
Derek Leung Ka-chun (concussion) and Alvin Ng Ka-chun (broken foot) should be back by early next month, while Keith Yeung Ming-lun (back) still requires at least two more weeks of physiotherapy before he consults a specialist regarding his possible return.
Eddy Lai Wai-ming has not ridden for more than a year after suffering a broken leg in a trackwork incident and has had his return further delayed by surgery to remove a pin.