Raymond gets back on horse
THERE was no denying Coffs Harbour jockey Raymond Spokes a win after he recovered from a dangerous fall in the previous race to ride five-year-old gelding Hayil's Way ($5) to victory in the Maiden Handicap (1250m) at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting yesterday.
Less than an hour before, Spokes had come crashing off five-year-old mare Caught High ($11) with 200 metres to go in the Maiden Plate (1600m).
"Any fall is bad and I was lucky I didn't hurt myself," Spokes said.
"All I thought about when I hit the ground was where are all the other horses coming behind me."
The 34-year-old was cleared of any serious damage and never thought about having the rest of the afternoon off.
"You just have to forget about it," he said.
"I knew Hayil's Way was in with a chance and it was the best horse on the day."
Gold Coast jockey Janette Johnson also fell, coming off four-year-old mare Che Sara Sara ($7) in spectacular fashion in the Class 1 Handicap (1000m).
She was cleared of injury and went on to have two more rides.
"It just clipped heels and it looked worse than what it was," she said.
In other races, Grafton apprentice Kirk Matheson continued his recent run of form by completing a winning double on five-year-old gelding Nobody's Johnny ($6) to take out the Slipway Hotel Movember Benchmark 65 Handicap (1300m).
"I was pretty confident with the horse," Matheson said.
"There was a lot of speed in the race and I know he gets back and comes home really well."
The win came as no surprise to Ballina trainer Stephen Lee.
"He is a pretty promising horse," Lee said.
"We had a torrid preparation with him last start where everything went wrong.
"There were rain-affected tracks and bad barrier draws and everything went pear-shaped.
"This track doesn't suit him and 1300 metres is too short, but we're heading in the right direction."
There will be another TAB meeting at the Ballina Jockey Club on Saturday, November 26.