Leading jockey Zac Purton will miss the early 2014 Spring Racing Carnival rides on Sacred Falls after fracturing his heel during a riding stint in Japan.
Purton went to Japan after securing the 2013/2014 Hong Kong Jockeys Premiership and had plenty of success during two weekends of riding, but he was forced to return to Australia prematurely due to excessive pain in his heel.
“It happened on the first night I was in Japan,” Purton told Sky Racing HQ.
“I tried to take a bit of a shortcut and jumped off a ledge, but I landed on heel quiet awkwardly and I ended up fracturing my heel.
“At the time I didn’t know that it was fractured, I thought that I had just jarred it and I hobbled around Japan for the rest of the week and rode on the weekend.
“I got an x-ray and the x-ray seemed to be alright, so I hobbled around for another week and it still wasn’t good.
“By the time I got through the second week I thought that I was better off getting back to Australia and getting some more tests with some doctors I could communicate with a little bit better.
“After I came back to Australia and got the MRI done, it was pretty clear that I had fractured my heel.
“It was a bit disappointing, but I was there the two weekends and I did manage to ride 20 horses for six winners, so I had a pretty good time while I was there anyway.”
Purton partnered Sacred Falls in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and will continue his association with the son of O’Reilly during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he will be unable to take the ride on the two-time Doncaster Mile winner in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30.
The leading jockey also confirmed that he had been booked to partner a galloper in both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), but refused to confirm the horse in question.
“I have been sent through his race program which was good, so I’ve had a look at that and I know where he is going to be running,” Purton said.
“Unfortunately I am not going to be fit enough to ride him first-up and depending where they run him second-up, I may not be ready for that either.
“After that I will be looking to get on his back all the way through to the Cox Plate.”
“I’ve picked up another ride for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup, so I will be doing a fair bit of travelling back and forth during the spring.”
Sacred Falls is currently on the second line of the 2014 Cox Plate betting market at Ladbrokes Australia at a quote of $11.