Kathy O’Hara is lucky to be alive after she suffered a nasty fall on Natch Catch in the McGrath Estate Agents Offices Handicap (1400m) but the tough jockey is hoping to return to racing next week.
O’Hara was taken to the hospital in a semi-conscious state after she lost her footing in her irons towards the final stages of the race and hit the ground hard before being trampled by My Man Of War.
The worst was feared for O’Hara after the fall but she miraculously avoided any serious injury, with a splitting headache her only major complaint, and told Racing Ahead this morning that she is looking forward to her return to the track.
“It is not really clear yet but I am meant to go and see the neurosurgeon next week and I have to do a base line test with the stewards this week as well,” O’Hara said.
“I’m hoping that if I feel up to it I will return next week or the week after.
“I got a knock to the back of the head, it didn’t knock me out for very long, but it was probably a couple of minutes so they treat it like a full concussion.”
Last week was a poor week for jockeys right around Australia, with Jordan Childs, Peter Mertens and Darren Gauci all involved in nasty falls, and this spat of incidents has led to the riding styles of jockeys being questioned.
Racing New South Wales Chief Steward Ray Murrihy admitted that he is concerned by jockeys riding too short but O’Hara does not believe that her riding style played any part in her fall on Friday and does not thing that riding short is a major issue.
“I think that is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the train of events that has just unfortunately happened one after the other,” O’Hara said.
“I have been riding this way for years and I am actually one of the jockeys that rides a little bit longer than anyone else so I don’t think that comes into calculations.
“It is just one those things that happens and it was just an accident.
“I do have a little bit of the irons that I was using but I will discuss that with the stewards at a later date and that is pretty much all there was to it.”
O’Hara missed out on partnering veteran gelding Zaratone to his victory in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday but is hoping to reunite with the popular grey in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on December 14.