Jockey Curtis targets swift return after freak accident

JOCKEY Ben Curtis hopes to return to the saddle next week after a freak accident left him requiring 44 stitches '“ and two operations.

Antiquarium ridden by James McDonald (left) alongside Seamour ridden by Ben Curtis (right).

The North Yorkshire rider suffered a dislocated wrist and gash to his right palm after he was unseated from a horse at Thirsk on September 3.

“I’ve a scar that goes three inches up to my wrist, but it’s healing up nicely,” said Curtis who has forged a successful alliance with Malton trainer Brian Ellison.

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“It got infected once I first left hospital so I had to go back in for another operation.

“But there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel now and hopefully I can come back next week. I’ll see how the movement is, but, with a bit of luck, I could be back in competitive action next Wednesday.”

The one consolation for Curtis is that his 10 wins from 42 rides at Beverley this season were sufficient to secure the leading jockeys’ award at the East Yorkshire track.

“Beverley is a great track and it’s always very challenging to ride there,” said Curtis who was previously champion apprentice in his native Ireland.

“But I’m very lucky to work for trainers who often specifically target races at the course, and always have their horses fit and well. There are a lot of great jockeys in the North who are always in action at Beverley, so I’m really happy to have had such a good season there.”

A highlight was Keith Brown-owned Orewa, who has been one of the stars of the season at Beverley. The two-year-old son of Helmet was sent to the Curragh and duly won over 108,000 euro in prize-money by landing the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes.

Curtis added: “Orewa had a few issues, but he’s very, very talented and has been trained brilliantly by Brian.”

Meanwhile, Ellison is hoping Seamour can land a deserved first success in 2016 when the luckless stayer lines-up in today’s Jockey Club Rose Bowl at Newmarket.

The consistent five-year-old has endured a frustrating campaign, notably being touched off close home by Antiquarium in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.

Then, after two brave efforts at York in the John Smith’s Silver Cup and the Betfred Ebor, Seamour was again collared in the dying strides by Wall Of Fire in the Ladbrokes Mallard Handicap at Doncaster two weeks ago.