Andrew Bloomfield may not be the most famous jockey in Australia but he’ll certainly have the sentimental support going into his race at Albury this week.
He’ll be aboard Gandalf The White, the horse he should have been riding in the feature event Albury Cup last year however he never got the chance.
It was a very different story in reality though as he was instead sitting at home in a neck brace watching his horse clinch an unexpected victory.
Bloomfield lost his chance after an accident just one week before the major race in which he caused significant damage to his neck, badly tearing ligaments and spending more than two months in recovery.
It was Jarrod Todd who replaced him and claimed the glory of the race on a horse few expected to win.
“I can’t repeat what I said when Gandalf The White won but I was genuinely happy for Wayne (Carroll), the stable and connections,” Bloomfield said.
“After the race I rang and congratulated Wayne and the boys, it was great for everyone involved.”
Thankfully Bloomfield wasn’t completely forgotten by the owners and the local boy did receive a special thank you as well.
“They took me and Brad Clark, who does a lot of riding for the stable, and our families out for dinner a couple of weeks later,” Bloomfield revealed.
“That was really nice. I really appreciated the gesture.”
Bloomfield can reclaim some of those lost memories this Thursday on the same horse at the same race meet, but the task looks to be even harder.
The five-year-old gelding has had a pretty average run of late, not claiming a victory since the event last year.
Optimists will tell you though that only adds to the fairy tale in the making.
“He’s been a bit disappointing form wise but his lead up races have been over unsuitable distances,” Bloomfield said.
“For some reason he’s been a bit intractable, uncharacteristically wanting to run off in his races.
“Wayne’s fitted a Norton bit and tongue tie. There was a feeling he was getting his tongue over the bit.
“Last start the 1000 metres was just too short.
“I galloped him Saturday. He went good.
“He’s a strong powerful horse who should roll forward and hopefully we can get a cart across from Voice Commander, who has drawn just inside us.
“If he puts his best foot forward, they’ll know he’s there.”