Triumphant return for jockey after horror fall

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
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Natasha Faithfull made a winning return to the saddle on Saturday booting home the Steve Wolfe trained Minus Looks.
Camera IconNatasha Faithfull made a winning return to the saddle on Saturday booting home the Steve Wolfe trained Minus Looks. Credit: Nic Ellis

Albany jockey Natasha Faithfull has made a fairytale return to the saddle after she dead-heated aboard Minus Looks in the last race on Saturday at Ascot.

Faithfull had a nasty fall in January after the horse she was riding fell on top of her during a regular morning beach workout.

She was left lying on the sand drifting in and out of consciousness with crushed ribs and lungs, coughing up blood.

Faithfull made her return to the saddle on Saturday, booting home a winner from only three rides, nine months after her horror fall.

Minus Looks settled ninth in running before Faithfull peeled the six-year-old to the outside to give it a sweet run down the middle of the track.

With 75m to go Faithfull had hit the lead before Little Fish came flying home and a bob of the heads could not be separated by the judge on the line.

She also had rides on Cold As Cold who finished seventh while her mother Samantha Faithfull’s horse Martinelli finished at the rear of the field.

“Getting a winner the first meeting back was a huge thrill and I think it still hasn’t sunk in yet,” she said.

“I felt really good. I feel as strong, if not stronger and fitter then before I had my accident.

“It was great to be back out there getting a feel for things again but it felt pretty natural to be back out there especially to get a winner for my boss who I’ve been associated with for about 10 years now.”

Faithfull said she hoped to keep getting rides in Perth but said she would be based in Albany for the season.

“My plan is to just keep working on my fitness and style and try to take as many opportunities as I can get to ride in town,” she said.

“I plan on moving to Albany at the end of the week to focus on having a really good season in Albany and my goal for the season I guess would be to try get leading jockey at Albany for the season. It’s my home town so it would mean a lot to achieve that.”

Faithfull said she was delighted all the work she had done to get back riding, including on the mechanical horse, had been rewarded..

“It’s hard to believe that I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to ride a winner on my first meeting back,” she said.

Lordhelpmerun crossed the line in eighth place in the group 3 Northerly Stakes. The four-year-old was 11th on the turn for jockey Peter Knuckey before running the third fastest final 600m to finish down the outside 31/2 lengths of the winner.

On Sunday, Albany trainer Garry Delane tasted success at Bunbury after his stayer, Proxy held off its rivals to win by 1/4 of a length.

Proxy has been in consistent form for Delane finishing in the top four from as many starts.

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