Kehoe happy to bide her time

Emily Kehoe will be back in the saddle once her injuries heal after a fall on the Gold Coast.
Emily Kehoe will be back in the saddle once her injuries heal after a fall on the Gold Coast. DAVID NIELSEN

CHIRPY Ballina Jockey Emily Kehoe hopes to be back riding trackwork this week – a minor miracle after her horror fall at Gold Coast Turf Club last Saturday.

The 27-year-old suffered severe bruising and whiplash after her mount came down in a three-horse fall in which she went underneath a horse but escaped relatively lightly under the circumstances.

A winner of 60 races, Kehoe was invited to ride in Sunday’s Iris Nielsen Memorial but had to relinquish her ride in light of her injuries.

While disappointed at missing the big race, Kehoe was just glad to be at the track to witness the third running of what is becoming a highlight of NSW country racing.

“Of course I was upset to miss the ride,” Kehoe said.

“But when you see footage of my fall, you could say I am lucky to be here at all.

“And this race isn’t about me; we are here to honour Iris and she payed the ultimate price, so for me to miss a few meetings is nothing.”

Kehoe was one of five local jockeys invited to take part in the official proceedings although they were unable to ride for various reasons.

“It is great that the club has found a way for us to be involved,” she said.

With some of Australia’s premier lady jockeys in attendance Kehoe was not shy to get in the thick of the mounting yard action.

“I know most of the horses in the race fairly well so I was able to give a few tips to some of the visiting girls who hadn’t ridden them before,” she said. “It was good to meet Clare (Lindop) and Sam (Spratt) for the first time, hopefully I can go on to achieve like they have.”

Had she been available to ride in the race, there is no doubting Kehoe’s preferred mount; the Gary Nielsen-trained Trick On Track has given Kehoe three wins including one of her biggest – the 2008 Casino Cup.

For the record, Trick On Track finished at the tail of the field on Sunday with Newcastle apprentice Alison Threadwell on board.

Meanwhile, Gabrielle Coleman is enduring a frustrating recovery from a badly broken thumb incurred on just her second day at the track.

The 16-year-old apprentice to Danny Bowen hopes to have surgery next week to remove a steel brace so she can begin the rehabilitation process.

“The timing is very frustrating,” Coleman said. “I just want to get back out there and ride.”

Chances are, if the pair can stay in the saddle, they will be racing for the fourth Iris Nielsen Memorial this time next year.