Hernia upsets Ryan’s tilt for titles

Champion country jockey Greg Ryan will undergo a hernia operation on July 1, putting into jeopardy his quest to win the Australian, NSW and country riding titles. Ryan expects to be sidelined for up to six weeks. ”I had a mishap riding a horse a few months back and I’ve just been putting up with the injury,” Ryan said. ”It’s been uncomfortable. Not the sort of pain you’d throw yourself down on the ground with, but I’ve managed to cope. I can’t do anything at all for two weeks after the operation and it will probably take another month to get back to fitness. The time off won’t hurt me. It will be a bit of a freshen-up in the paddock.” Ryan is a prolific premiership winner but his time recuperating will give rivals the chance to overhaul his lead in the three riding categories.


Former jockey and accomplished trainer Pat Webster is relishing his role as a Racing NSW mentor to apprentices in the field of drug and alcohol counselling. Webster turned up at Grafton races on Tuesday and, along with Malcolm Fitzgerald, spoke to a group of local apprentices on Wednesday. Webster, who was born and raised in Inverell, completed his drug and alcohol accreditation through a TAFE NSW course. ”I normally sit the kids down and talk about my personal family experiences and the dangers involved with drugs and alcohol,” Webster said. ”If I can help one or two kids out in life, that’s beneficial. It’s surprising how many young apprentices have had dealings with dads with drug and alcohol problems. I know in my own heart, this counselling is working and helping kids out. I’m mainly in the city and provincial areas but I love getting around the country. Kids in the country need this just as much as those in the city.”


Bookmakers operating at last Saturday’s Cobar Cup meeting copped a pasting. Nearly 3000 people turned up and miner Wayne Prisk, the only trainer at Cobar, was the star of the show. Prisk saddled up three winners – El Ponderosa at $8, Teraset at $7 in the $7000 Cobar Cup, and Ziazan ($4). ”The locals had a field day following Wayne,” race caller Col Hodges said. ”Every one of his horses was well backed.” Parkes jockey Michael Hackett rode the three winners. Hackett partners Street Ride for Gary Colvin in Sunday’s $22,000 Parkes Cup. To make matters worse for the bagmen, Fallon Street, owned by long-serving Cobar mayor Lilliane Brady and trained by Rodney Robb at Forbes, won as a heavily backed $2 favourite. Then Narromine trainer Catherine Chapman saddled up Scar Tissue, which scored on the dirt track after being backed from $2.20 in to $1.80. Before the first race, Sydney-based Bradley Woods won a $4000 foot race named ”the Golden Mile”, for the third successive year.


Sunday – Parkes. Monday – Tamworth, Port Macquarie. Tuesday – Cessnock. Friday – Canberra, Casino. Saturday – Wagga.

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