Jockey Justin Stanley (left) with his father Peter Stanley of Casino at the Casino Race Track.
Jockey Justin Stanley (left) with his father Peter Stanley of Casino at the Casino Race Track. David Nielsen

Stanley's Cup hopes stalled

JOCKEY Justin Stanley had the $17,000 Casino RSM Beef Week Cup (1400m) TAB meeting today pencilled in for his return to racing from a horror race fall on the Gold Coast three years ago.

"I was sort of hoping to make it my first day back, because I knew Dad (Casino trainer Peter Stanley) was going to have a couple in," Stanley said.

"But it didn't work out that way."

The 27-year-old was one of the top riders on the Gold Coast when he suffered a fractured scull, multiple jaw breaks, busted right knee, and broken left collarbone.

"I was riding on the Gold Coast when four of us came down on December 17, 2005," he said.

"A horse ran over the top and cleaned me up and did a bit of damage on the way over.

"When I got back on a horse finally it was after two years, but it was more relief than stress.

"I went stir crazy not being able to do anything so it was a big weight off my shoulders."

But the relief turned to further frustration six weeks ago when a rogue New Zealand horse ended his comeback earlier this year.

"I went over to New Zealand at the start of this year to work for Garry Newham and Graeme Rogerson on a private training facility at Hamilton," Stanley said.

"I rode work for a couple of months and I had my first barrier trials in mid-March.

"It probably still would've been two months before I rode in races again.

"A week after the first trial, a horse tried to run off the track and threw me into a fence. I broke my right femur.

"I hope to be back in the middle of August riding trackwork again."

Rogerson trained Efficient to Melbourne Cup glory last
year.

Peter Stanley said it was disappointing not to have his son riding Misswan in the Maiden Plate (1400m) and Paddycolo in the Rating 62 Handicap (1000m).

"It would've been nice to have him back riding for me," he said.

"He was planning to come back this weekend; now he'll have to wait until next year (for the Beef Week Cup)."

But Justin said a long time out of the saddle was easier to deal with the second time around.

"This is actually not too bad," he said.

"I kept saying to Dad and everyone else, the first two-and-a-half years is the hardest, another six months isn't going to kill me."

Instead of watching the eight-race TAB meeting from the Casino Racing Club today, where his mother Dianne is secretary, Justin will have to watch the races on television while looking after the family stables.

Murwillumbah jockey Bernadette Payne will replace Justin on Misswan and Paddycolo.


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