LEADING jockey Greg Ryan was stood down after only one race at Muswellbrook yesterday after being injured in the barriers.
Ryan injured his right leg, hurting a calf muscle, as Leica Lola was loaded before the start of The Farmers Barn Four Year Old Maiden (1280m)and was limping badly as he stumbled away from the barriers.
Ryan was assessed as not being fit to ride and stewards had no option but to scratch the horse.
He returned to scale in the ambulance and was asked if he needed attention but declined in order to drive himself home to Dubbo to seek attention there.
The race was won by the Kris Lees-trained Wealth Of Nations to give the trainer and jockey Andrew Gibbons the first leg of a winning treble.
They also won the following race, The Event Storeroom Class One and Maiden (1750m) with the imported Award Season and the Peter and His Heart Starters Class Two (1450m) with Flying Hope.
Award Season was having his third start since being bought in France by the Newcastle-based Australian Bloodstock.
One of the company’s two principals, Jamie Lovett, said they had bought the horse as a consolation after a bid to buy another horse fell through.
“They wanted far too much money for the other horse and we got this bloke cheaply,” Lovett said.
“He had good form in France and good form around the horse we went over there originally to buy.”
Gibbons had Award Season third last early, circled the field from the 600 metres and ran away in the straight to win easily.
Flying Hope may be headed back to metropolitan racing after he stormed home late to grab the favourite Daymo in a deceptive finish.
It appeared to be a close call yet the photo showed Flying Hope had won by a neck.
Flying Hope won at Warwick Farm in May then lost form, was spelled and was having his fourth start back yesterday.
A split-second decision by apprentice Courtney Van Der Werf proved the right move when Clickety Snip led virtually all the way to win the Mt Arthur Coal Benchmark 70 (1750m).
She was caught four wide early and elected to go forward even though the horse’s normal pattern is to get back.
“Courtney summed it up perfectly – that was a very good decision,” trainer Greg Bennett said.
“We will have to go back to town with him now because he is getting too much weight in the country.”