New Zealand jockey Matthew Cameron is confident he will pass a concussion test today and be given the all clear to partner Kiwi sensation Xtravagant in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5.
Cameron had a spectacular fall at Matamata on Sunday, only a day after riding Xtravagant to an eight lengths win in the Group 1 NZ$218,000 NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa, but has come through with only minor injuries.
“I’m pretty good, actually,” Cameron told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“My neck is a little bit stiff, but other than that a few grazes all over my face and cuts and bruises everywhere, but other than that I am actually walking around and moving around pretty good.”
“I am quite surprisingly good. “
“I am lucky nothing in broken and nothing serious. It was good to come out unscathed really.”
“Just a bit of whiplash.
Cameron will undergo a compulsory concussion test today and he is certain that he will get the all clear to hop back in the saddle with rides already booked for Friday’s Riccarton Park meeting.
The leading jockey has been confirmed as the rider for Xtravagant in the Australian Guineas and has also been booked to ride the Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs trained Hasselhoof in the Listed $125,000 Parramatta Cup (1900m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
“I’m confirmed to ride him (Xtravagant) in Australia,” Cameron said.
“Hopefully pass my test today with flying colours and we will be away laughing and off we go to Aussie again to Melbourne.”
“I have rides programmed for Friday and I have to pass the concussion test today at twelve o’clock.”
“So I should pass that with flying colours. I can remember everything and I am pretty onto it at the moment.”
“Hopefully we should be all clear to go for Friday and definitely the Hasselhoof ride for Saturday.”
The local New Zealand rule of having to be stood down for three weeks after suffering a head knock resulting from a heavy fall had been recently changed and now to pass a concussion test is sufficient to get back into the saddle.
Cameron said that he can remember the lead up to the fall from his mount Pentire Babe in the first race at Matamata on Sunday and was conscious in the ambulance on the way to hospital.
“I remember getting just before the crossing and she shied and veered away slightly and I went one way and all I remember was there was a lot of horses behind me and I hope they don’t run over top of me. That was kind of the last thing I remember.”
“I did a few flips and my face broke the fall. It wasn’t too flash and I was out for a couple of minutes. I come to in the ambulance and remembered what I was there for.”
“I have had the odd fall but nothing like this.”
Cameron is keen to get to Melbourne and rates Xtravagant as one of the best horses he has ridden, with the win in the NRM Sprint confirming his opinion of the three year old.
“He was amazing. It was the best win he has done. He was back big time and we always knew he had it there and there were a few doubters after his last start. He absolutely dominated and it was a great win,” Cameron said.
“He is the standout at the moment.”
Xtravagant is currently at the top of the market order for the Australian Guineas at $4.80 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Darren Weir trained pair of Palentino at $6 and Mahuta at $6.50.
Australian Guineas market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Xtravagant, $6 Palentino, $6.50 Mahuta, $7.50 Perfect Reflection, $8 Risque, Tarzino, $17 Sailing By, Vanbrugh, $21 Jameka, Montaigne, Puritan, Ready For Victory, River Wild, Tivaci, Tulsa, Vostok.