A bruised and battered Kathy O’Hara will return to the saddle on Saturday on the Kensington track with four early bookings, including her old favourite Zaratone in the Listed $100,000 Razor Sharp Handicap (1150m).
O’Hara suffered a heavy fall from Natch Catch on the Kensington track on November 29 when she lost her footing in her near-side stirrup on the home turn and was heavily concussed when My Man Of War, which was following, crashed into her.
O’Hara sustained a nasty wound to the back of the head but was not required to visit a neurosurgeon after her CT scans were clear.
“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,” O’Hara said.
The popular jockey’s manager Craig Morrissey said that a doctor from Racing New South Wales had looked at the scans and cleared her to ride.
“He liaised with Racing NSW stewards and they told her she didn’t have to and could begin riding again,” Morrissey said.
O’Hara is keen to get back aboard Zaratone after missing the winning ride on the eight year old in the Listed $100,000 Blackwoods Alemlube Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on November 30.
Brenton Avdulla warmed the saddle for O’Hara who had ridden the gelding at his previous six starts including a win at Rosehill in July and trainer Bjorn Baker is looking forward to another bold showing.
“He is in fantastic form and it was great to see him back at Rosehill over his pet distance,” Baker said.
“It was unfortunate that she (O’Hara) couldn’t be there.
“That was the target all along; he came fifth first-up with a lot of weight and then came third and it was really the race that we were aiming for.
“She rode him in the two earlier runs and couldn’t be on him on Saturday.
“He was really primed for that and it was a Listed race so he was back down in weight and he had a lot of positives going into the race.”
O’Hara has also been booked for three of her regular rides from the Jason Coyle stable, Smart Moochi in the 1400m Benchmark 80 Handicap, Spring Rose in the 1150m Benchmark 80 Handicap and Takewing in the 1400m Benchmark 75 Handicap.