Three months ago at Flemington Racecourse a horror race fall looked to have cost Jake Noonan his life.
After being dislodged from the paradoxically named Safe, many thought he had been killed as he lay frozen on the turf.
Friend and fellow jockey Daniel Schmidt admits he instantly thought the worse.
So too did Noonan’s famous father Tony who couldn’t bare to face the image as ambulance officers crowded around his son.
It was a feeling felt right around Flemington and indeed all those watching on TV.
Fortunately though Noonan survived the incident, albeit only narrowly with serious bleeding on his brain discovered when he arrived at hospital.
There were than concerns he would suffer brain damage and the odds of him returning to the saddle seemed remote.
Amazingly though just three months after the fall that nearly cost him his life, Noonan will be back in action tomorrow at Mornington.
Naturally it will be a slow start to his comeback with just two rides on the card, both of which are for his father’s stable.
Noonan successfully completed a five horse trial program at Cranbourne on Monday and says he’s feeling ready to step back into the races.
He remembers nothing of the fall itself but after watching footage of the incident he says he can understand why it left so many people distressed.
“I’ve seen it. It would have been a pretty frightening moment, particularly for Dad,” he said.
“The way the fall looked, you would not want that to happen to anyone let alone your own son.”
Strangely enough the fact he was knocked out may have aided his recovery with no recollection of the incident leaving little to be frightened about.
“I have no memory of riding in the race, let alone the fall,” he said.
“The only memory of the day I have is riding Rusticated to victory earlier.
“So I’ve got nothing to be put off by. Mentally, I’ve coped pretty well.”
While the three month turnaround has surprised a lot of people, least of all his doctors, Noonan says it’s still three months too long away from the sport that he loves.
“I just can’t wait to get back,” he said.
“It’s in the blood now.
“I was bitten by it at a young age and when you go from doing it every day of your life to suddenly three months away from it, it’s tough.
“It’s a feeling you can’t get from anything else. It’s just the adrenalin rush.”
Noonan will ride Chosen One in Race three on Wednesday at Mornington as well as Mateo in the last.