THE riding career of talented jockey Holly McKechnie is hanging in the balance.
McKechnie’s run of bad luck started off at Penshurst’s Boxing Day meeting in 2017, when she broke bones in her left foot in what seemed like a simple accident while riding a horse to the barriers.
Three metal plates and screws were inserted into the break, but things took a turn for the worse when an unraced three-year-old stood on her right foot at the stables of her partner Paul Preusker at Horsham in September last year.
Surgeons inserted two plates and nine screws into her right foot after the accident.
“I’ve just had a terrible run of bad luck,” McKechnie said. “I’ve got to go and see the surgeon in February.
“I’m hoping he’ll pull the plates and screws out of my right foot.
“It’s fair to say I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to ride in races again.
“My left foot still gives me a bit of grief. It swells up and I’ve got a couple of minor issues with it.
“The right foot is another problem.
“I’m not sure if I’ll get a clearance from the doctors to ride again.
“It’s all about waiting and seeing what the doctor says in February.
“There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s all pretty frustrating but I can’t do a thing about it.”
The Hamilton Cup-winning jockey, who rode her first winner in 1999, has broken both arms twice, both ankles, ribs and a collarbone in trackwork or race falls during her career.
HARD tracks have forced Orford trainer Anne McGrath to reconsider plans for jumper Mannertone after she scratched the 10-year-old from a restricted flat race at Hamilton last Friday.
McGrath inspected the track on Thursday and believed the hard surface would not suit the horse.
“I was just a bit worried Hamilton was too hard for Mannertone to resume,” she said.
“I understand it’s very tough on the track managers to keep the racing surface with a bit of give over the summer months.
“We’ve got a long winter jumping campaign planned for Mannertone.
“We’ll keep him ticking along by taking him up the bush at the back of the property as we’ve got to get the miles into his legs.
“I think we’ll wait for a bit of a break in the weather.
“I’m not the only jumps trainer with the problem.
“The old horses just need a bit of give in for their legs as they prepare for the jumps season.”
Mannertone, who has had a total of 93 starts, has earnt more than $325,000 in stakemoney.
Eight of his nine wins have been in jumps races.
POPULAR Warrnambool-based jockey Declan Bates hopes a visit to his doctor will lead to good news this Wednesday.
Bates has been on the sidelines with a fractured cheekbone since a pre-race accident at Yarra Glen on December 1.
“I’m feeling really good,” the Irish-born jockey said.
“I hope the doctor gives me the all clear on Wednesday to resume riding trackwork.
“It will not take long to resume race riding after I get the trackwork clearance as I’m pretty fit. I’ve looked after my weight since I’ve been on the sidelines.
“The biggest disappointment has been since I’ve been out is I’ve missed out on a few winning rides but there’s not much you can do about it.”
HAMILTON trainer Darren Kolpin was happy with the performance of his honest mare Jester Halo in a $125,000 fillies and mares race at Flemington on Saturday.
Jester Halo finished in sixth place, less then three lengths from the eventual winner Set To Sparkle in the 1400 metre race.
“It was a super run,” Kolpin said.
“She’s just an honest little mare who gives 100 per cent in her races.
“She just had no luck. It’ll pay to forget the run. She was caught out wide from the bad barrier but kept on boxing away.
“We’ll take her home and look after her before setting for a similar type of mares race in three weeks time.”
The six-year-old mare has won six of her 22 starts.
APPRENTICE jockey Teo Nugent was suspended on a careless riding charge at Werribee on Saturday.
Nugent, who pleaded guilty, was found to have allowed his mount Surging Storm to shift out near the 200 metre mark which resulted in Snowplough losing its rightful running.
Stewards deemed the incident to be in the low range. His suspension starts midnight January 16 and ends January 25.
CIARON Maher will train the full brother of his former star mare Jameka after buying the yearling colt for $600,000 on the final day of the Gold Coast’s Magic Millions Premier Yearling Sale on Saturday night.
The former Warrnambool trainer said all the shares in the colt were gone.
“The majority of Jameka’s owners have taken shares in the colt and another couple of people snapped up what was left. The colt reminds me a lot of Jameka. He’s a lovely type of colt with an excellent confirmation,” Maher said.
Jameka won six races from 24 starts, including the 2016 Caulfield Cup, and more than $4.8 million in prizemoney.
Maher, who purchased Jameka for $130,000 at the 2014 Inglis Yearling Sales, bought 19 yearlings at the Gold Coast sale at a cost of more than $4.5 million.