Talented jockey Dean Yendall is hoping to resume riding in late July as he recovers from fracturing his C2 and C3 in his neck following a fall at Terang in December.
Yendall said it was tough to miss the big Warrnambool three-day carnival this week, but he's looking forward to being back in the saddle for next year's event.
"I've loved riding at the carnival," he said. "It's one of the best country carnivals in Australia, but I can't complain; I'm lucky to be walking around. My injuries were bad enough with the fractures to my C2 and C3. I was very lucky that I had no surgery. I had to wear a neck brace for three months, and, believe me, there was no fun in that. I'll be guided by my doctors before coming back to ride. My fitness is improving slowly. I've got to build the fitness around the muscles in my neck before I start riding again. I've been very lucky to have had the support of my wife Christine (Puls) and a great medical team headed by Doctor Gary Zimmerman, which has helped my recovery."
Yendall has ridden countless winners at the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival during his career, including the two flat features. He rode Master Of Arts to victory in the 2016 Warrnambool Cup and Handsome Thief to win the 2018 Wangoom Handicap.
Former top jumps jockey David "Butch" Londregan is awaiting an operation on his right shoulder.
The four-time Grand Annual Steeplechase winning jockey hopes he's only weeks away from having the operation to replace his right shoulder.
Londregan was to have had scans on the shoulder last week but that appointment was changed to May 9 in Geelong.
"They want to replace the whole right shoulder," he said. "It's sore all the time and it's the result of numerous falls over my riding career.
"They wanted more scans of the shoulder and they will be done on May 9 before the operation, I hope, later this month."
Londregan's four Grand Annual winners were Thackeray (1979 and 1980), Kaimoto (1981) and Brigade (1985).
Racing Victoria steward Scott Quill is anxiously awaiting his first Warrnambool May Racing Carnival.
Quill, 42, who lives in Koroit, joined the RV stewards ranks in July last year after years of working in the role in Tasmania.
"I can't wait for the carnival to begin," Quill said. "There's a lot of hype and atmosphere in the lead up. I've watched the Grand Annual Steeplechase numerous times back in Tasmania, but to be here in my role as a steward is really exciting."
Quill replaced Frank Beattie, who filled the role for 55 years before retiring last year.
Warrnambool galloper Exalted Crown put the writing on the wall for a win at Geelong last Friday after three consistent efforts at his previous runs, according to his trainer Colin Chandler.
Exalted Crown, with Declan Bates on board, beat Couldbefamous and Bring The Stars to win the restricted race over 1750 metres.
"Exalted Crown deserved the win," Chandler said. "His three runs at Ballarat and Geelong, on two occasions prior, were very good. He was knocking on the door. It was great to get a win with Exalted Crown as his owners, Tim Dennis and Grant Downey, have been wonderful supporters of mine for 40 years. I've broken in a lot of horses for them over the years and trained a fair few. It's just great to see they've got another winner. We've got no big plans for Exalted Crown next start."
French-born jumps jockey Selim Agbal will have his first Australian ride in a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool on Tuesday. Agbal, 23, who rides trackwork for the Ciaron Maher - David Eustace stable at Ballarat, has been booked to ride Lady Fiorente in the third division of the maiden hurdle.
"I've been riding work for Ciaron for more than a year," Agbal said. "The opportunity came up for me to get my Australian jumps jockeys licence and I jumped at the chance.
"I'm really looking forward to riding around Warrnambool. I've been down there for the trials. It's a unique sort of track with the open paddocks."
Before working for the Maher - Eustace stable, Agbal had stints working for the Hayes stable and Chris Waller.
Warrnambool trainer Adam Chambers is unsure where he will run Tequila Storm next after the mare scored an impressive maiden debut win at Mount Gambier last week.
Tequila Storm won the 912-metre maiden by more than two lengths.
"Tequila Storm had trialled up well leading into her first race start," Chambers said. "We had trialled her at Camperdown and Terang over the past few weeks. I knew she had to be competitive going on her work leading into the race. She's got a fair bit of scope to improve off that performance. She's got an outstanding temperament, which is going to take her a long way. We'll just see how she pulls up after the maiden win before making plans about her next run. I'm in no hurry to rush her."
LITERARY MAGNATE: resumed with a solid performance to run second in a 1300-metre race. She's showed plenty of ability in her six starts and can be followed with confidence in the future.
STREET DELIGHT: had no luck running fourth in a group three race at Morphettville on Saturday. She'll be hard to beat next time.
COMMANDS THE FIELD: finished off a 1300-metre race strongly to run third after being well backed. She's been very consistent and is worth staying with next time in similar class.
DANIEL MOOR: underrated jockey. Moor showed his ability with a top ride on Glint Of Hope to win the Australasian Oaks on Saturday. Punters should include Moor's mounts in their multiple selections.
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