The Courier-Mail

BROWNE THUMBS UP FOR MOIR

- BEN DORRIES

It was all fairly frustratin­g and I was wondering whether I was going to get

my knee right

DAMIAN BROWNE

DAMIAN Browne was close to giving up riding for an extended period during his knee surgery rehabilita­tion, but will return rejuvenate­d with Spring Carnival rides in mind.

The elite Queensland jockey has not ridden for more than two months but today expects to get the allclear from his surgeon to make his riding comeback.

He will take a couple of rides on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday in a “blow-out’’ that will get him closer to his goal of riding Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on October 2.

Browne and Buffering combined to win their fourth Group 1 together when they took out the Moir Stakes last year and trainer Rob Heathcote is keen to renew the associatio­n.

Heathcote had placed Luke Nolen on standby for the ride in case Browne was not fit, but the Queensland jockey sees no reason why he will not be ready to rumble.

“That race is what I am hoping for and what I am aiming for and I am sure I will be right,’’ Browne, 42, said.

“There is also a possibilit­y of me getting some rides for the Snowden stable during the big southern carnivals.

“I have had good success with them before, but I don’t really find out until a week or so before when Pete (Snowden) gives me a ring.’’

Browne was hoping to return earlier from the surgery he had to undergo after riding with severe knee pain during the Queensland Winter Carnival.

He said there was a time during his rehab when he considered having a total break from riding for more than six months.

“It was all fairly frustratin­g and I was wondering whether I was going to get my knee right,’’ Browne said. ‘‘It did cross my mind to have a fair bit of time away from racing.

“But at my age I thought it would be even harder to come back, the longer I left it.

“The specialist changed the way I was strapping my knee, and changed the medication I was on, and it has been a lot better ever since.’’

Browne said one benefit of his period on the sidelines was spending more time with his young family, including taking his two kids to tennis and gymnastics competitio­ns.

GLEN Baker has become the latest Queensland horse trainer to have his cobalt charges dropped and disqualifi­cation quashed because of an embarrassi­ng legal loophole.

Atherton thoroughbr­ed trainer Baker was in the clear after Racing Queensland agreed to set aside his twoyear disqualifi­cation and award him $2000 in costs.

Baker was banned for two years in June after a horse he trained – French Lesson – produced a positive sample to cobalt at a concentrat­ion of 790 and 846 micrograms per litre of urine (ug/L) after victory in a race at Doomben on January 31.

He was initially only appealing against the length of his two-year ban before a legal loophole led to three Queensland harness trainers – Trevor Lambourn, Ken Belford and the Gold Coast’s Shawn Grimsey – walking free of cobalt bans this month.

 ??  ?? COAST RUN: Damian Browne is returning from knee surgery; and (inset) Buffering winning the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley last year. Main picture: Tara Croser
COAST RUN: Damian Browne is returning from knee surgery; and (inset) Buffering winning the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley last year. Main picture: Tara Croser

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