The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - NATHAN EXELBY COUN­TRY CUP

PRO­LIFIC Gold Coast pre­mier­ship-win­ning jockey Dan Grif­fin capped a stun­ning come­back from a bro­ken neck to find him­self in the win­ners’ list on Magic Mil­lions day yesterday.

Grif­fin won the $250,000 MM Coun­try Cup on the Ben Cur­rie-trained out­sider Mr Markou.

In May last year, Grif­fin broke the C5 ver­te­brae in his spine when he was speared into the up­right rail­ing of the bar­ri­ers at the Gold Coast on the Chris Waller-trained Li­lakai. COAST KING: Dan Grif­fin.

At one stage, he feared he would never ride again but he re­turned to work last Septem­ber.

Grif­fin has long stated his big­gest am­bi­tion is to win the Magic Mil­lions 2YO Clas­sic, but a fea­ture win­ner on the big day is the next best thing.

“I rode the book­ends one year (on MM day), the first and the last, but nor­mally I don’t get too many good ones,” he said. “There’s a lot of big rid­ers here and it’s un­der­stand­able.

“For Ben to give me the op­por­tu­nity, it’s been won­der­ful.

“He was tardy away, he reared at the start, but I got into a nice po­si­tion after that on Tim Clark’s (Reck­less Choice) back and I was al­ways trav­el­ling. Get­ting to the 600m, I knew I just had to get clear run­ning.”

Mr Markou gave book­ies an early re­sult after be­ing sent out an $81 chance and fend­ing off Reck­less Choice.

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