Pires back in form af­ter fall

Mercury (Hobart) - - RACING - PETER STA­PLES

TOP Tas­ma­nian jockey David Pires rode his first win­ner since re­sum­ing from a se­ri­ous in­jury sus­tained in a race fall in Ho­bart more than 18 months ago.

Pires badly dam­aged his hip and pelvic re­gion in a race fall at El­wick in Fe­bru­ary last year and at one stage it was feared he would never ride again.

But in­tense re­me­dial ther­apy and a sud­den change in bone growth and de­vel­op­ment has en­abled him to get back into the sad­dle.

He al­most made the ul­ti­mate come­back when the horse he rode as his first start back, Sir Da Vinci, was beaten by a nar­row mar­gin in Launce­s­ton last month.

But in Devon­port yes­ter­day he teamed up with the Scott Brun­ton-trained Heav­enly Light and, af­ter the filly was backed in to start the $2.25 favourite, she de­liv­ered a stel­lar per­for­mance to score an ef­fort­less win in a maiden over 900 me­tres.

“It’s so good to get the mon­key off my back and that it was on one of Scott’s horses made it more spe­cial,” Pires said.

“It’s been a long road back, but I feel really good and I’m sure it won’t be long be­fore I get the all clear to take full books of rides.”

Pires was only al­lowed to take two rides per meet­ing when he first re­turned to race rid­ing and that has stretched to four, but he is hop­ing to have that re­stric­tion lifted by his spe­cial­ist early next month.

Brun­ton also was elated for Pires. “David and I go back a long way and I was dev­as­tated for him when he had that bad fall,” Brun­ton said.

“At one stage it didn’t look too good, but he is a fighter and he has worked hard to get back into rid­ing.

“I am wrapped that his first win­ner back was on one that I train and to­day it was cour­tesy of his ex­cel­lent ride that got the job done with Heav­enly Light.”

Pires was not sat­is­fied with one win­ner, so he teamed up John Keys’ Derby prospect Dixie’s Boy ($2.25 fav) in the next race, a maiden over 1350m, and pro­duced the de­sired re­sult.

Dixie’s Boy (Mar­wingoJet­tadan) set­tled mid­field and trav­elled well to the home turn where Pires wove a pas­sage through a nar­row gap and the geld­ing did the rest to cruise to a com­fort­able win over out­sider Lord Wim­borne ($71).

“I’ve al­ways thought Dixie’s Boy would make a Derby horse and now I’m sure he will, but first we’ll look at win­ning a class one and take it from there,” Keys said.

Pires said Dixie’s Boy would have won by fur­ther had he not been in­con­ve­nienced at the top of the home straight.

“If he gets a clear run he wins by pan­els and I have no doubt the horse is go­ing to be bet­ter when he gets over more ground,” Pires said.

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