Pires back in form after fall
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.