Talented Irish-born jockey Declan Bates will be on the sidelines for the next month after having surgery on his right ankle last week.
Bates injured his ankle in a barrier mishap at Terang on January 2 but the former Koroit-based jockey, who now lives in Ballarat, was disappointed to find out surgery was needed following CT scans.
"I had my ankle in a plaster cast after the mishap at Terang," Bates said.
"I thought everything was going good but after going back to my doctor he suggested I should get a CT scan on the ankle.
"The scan revealed the break was worse than what was shown on the x-ray. They have put in a couple of screws. The doctor says the screws will help with the healing process.
"I'm hoping to be back riding in a month if everything goes to plan."
The injury is a cruel blow for Bates who won the listed Chester Manifold Stakes aboard Corner Pocket on New Years Day at Flemington. He was successful on Vardani in the Werribee Cup in December last year.
"The injury is just so frustrating but it's racing," Bates said.
"I was building up some really nice rides over the last few months and then to see them win while you're on the sidelines is frustrating.
"I've been very lucky to have had great support from a big group of trainers but in particular Archie Alexander has been sensational and I had been riding a bit for the McEvoy stable.
"It's like you've just got to go back to square one and start all over again once the injury heals."
Bates' biggest Australian victory was on Begood Toya Mother when he won the group one Rupert Clarke Stakes in 2019 for Warrnambool trainer Daniel Bowman.
A soft track rating never helped the chances of Warrnambool galloper Needsaname in a benchmark 58 over 2418 metres at Geelong on Sunday, according to his trainer Simon Ryan.
Needsaname ran fifth in the staying contest, finishing six lengths from the winner Winds Of March after being well back in the field in the early and middle stages of the race.
Ryan said he was hoping for a better effort from the six-year-old.
"Needsaname is usually slow to begin and he did that on Sunday but I thought he may have run a bit better," the popular trainer said.
"I was hoping for a top-three but he could only manage a fifth placing. I don't think he appreciated the soft going.
"It was just a shame they had a fair bit of rain in Geelong on Sunday morning before the races.
"Needsaname needs the pace on in his races. He's just a grinding sort of stayer.
"We'll go back to the drawing board with him and will look at a high-weight race over 3200 metres at Warrnambool on March 23 as a target race."
Needsaname has won one of his 19 starts.
HONEST mare Strawberry Moon put in an uncharacteristic poor run to finish in last place in a fillies and mares race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Strawberry Moon, who was going for her fourth consecutive win, will now be spelled according to her trainer Daniel Bowman.
From her nine starts Strawberry Moon has won three races and picked up more than $53,000 in stake-money for her connections.
JOCKEY Josh Cartwright felt the wrath of stewards at Yarra Valley on Saturday. Cartwright pleaded guilty to having his iPad in the jockeys room.
Stewards took into account the breach, his guilty plea, record and forthright evidence before fining Cartwright $400 for the offence.
The stewards audited the iPad and were satisfied Cartwright had not used it for the purpose of communication.
STAR mares Graceful Girl and Celebrity Miss are the latest headline acts confirmed to be entered for the Chairman's Sale at Riverside Sydney on May 4.
Graceful Girl reached the pinnacle of her racetrack career winning the G1 Winterbottom Stakes in 2021.
In winning the prestigious 1200m sprint, Graceful Girl clocked a faster time than Paulele's Winterbottom victory in November last year, as well as other high-class recent winners of the race including Miss Andretti, Takeover Target, Buffering, Ortensia, Viddora etc.
Celebrity Miss is a particularly rare commodity as a proven G1 producer to be offered at public auction in Australasia.
By More Than Ready out of dual G1-winning Marscay mare Miss Margaret, Celebrity Miss has already shown her extraordinary worth as a broodmare, being the dam of 2021 G1 Oakleigh Plate winner Celebrity Queen.
Graceful Girl and Celebrity Miss join an already impressive early list of Chairman's Sale entries which includes the three-time G1-placed sprinting mare Swats That (Shamus Award), mares in foal to the likes of American sire sensation Gun Runner and Champion European sire Frankel, as well as the likes of Extreme Choice, Home Affairs, Stay Inside.
JIGSAW: impressive win in the Australia Stakes on Saturday. He's ready to tackle stronger company in the future.
CLARITY: resumed with a good run in a small field at the Valley. She'll be better over more ground in the future and can be followed with confidence.
PHILIP STOKES: underrated trainer. Stokes often floats under the radar but punters saw him lead in three winners at Morphettville.
It pays to include his runners in your multiple selections whether they run in Adelaide or Melbourne.
ATTRITION: big winner at Geelong on Sunday. He's won two of his four starts and more wins are in store for the lightly-raced colt.
PRINCEOFCAMBRIDGE: may have been a shade unlucky at his first Australian start running second on Sunday. He'll be better suited to races over more ground than the 1212 metres he contested at Geelong.
WORSFOLD: honest type who had no luck in a 1500-metre race at the Valley.
Favourite punters were left with worthless tickets after he was caught up behind other runners. The only consolation is punters should get their money back next time if the six-year-old has a bit of luck in the run.
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