Luke Currie eyes return to racing in time for Melbourne spring carnival after recovering from February fall

Top jockey Luke Currie is running up to 60km a week on the comeback trail from spinal fractures.

The 38-year-old plans to return to track work in mid-August, with a view to be race riding by the end of the month.

Currie sustained spinal fractures, broken ribs, a chipped thumb bone and concussion in a fall after the post at the Valley in February, the night before he was booked to ride Hanseatic in the Group 1 Blue Diamond.

“I got the all clear from the surgeon the other day with the CT scan but he wants me to wait another month to make it six months from the date of injury, just to be sure,” Currie said.

“It’s hard for them to tell when it’s fused … (if I was to fall) whether it is ready to cop an impact like that.”

Jockey Luke Currie after riding Hanseatic to victory at Caulfield in January. Picture: George Salpigtidis/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Currie was in top form prior to the setback, riding feature wins for power stables Tony and Calvin McEvoy, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace and Godolphin.

But the forced outage has in effect rejuvenated the nine-time Group 1 winner.

“I have been removed from that (COVID toll on winter racing), which might be a blessing in disguise, I’ll come back refreshed and hopefully be able to pick up a few rides over the spring,” Currie said.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully getting back on Hanseatic … to trial him and possibly ride him again this time in, I’d like to.”

Currie has pounded the pavement to get back up to speed, along with doing weights and the exercise bike.

Racing Victoria also loaned the jockey a mechanical horse to use.

“I have been doing quite a lot of running the last month and half because the first three months I was in a neck brace and couldn’t really do anything,” Currie said.

“I’ve built it up to 60km a week now … and a bit on the bike, I can’t ride a normal bike just in case I fall off.

“It’s a shame with the pools closed (due to COVID), I always liked to use the pool a fair bit, so probably means I’m doing a bit more running.”

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Currie is keen to get back in the saddle. Picture: AAP Image/Vince CaligiuriSource:AAP

Currie still experiences some numbness, “a different sensation” in his left thumb and two fingers, which “may never go away”.

“It doesn’t affect my strength or anything, it’s just a different feeling,” Currie said.

“It’s there but it’s not an inconvenience at all … (it’s) definitely not stopping me from doing anything at the moment, but the test will be when I do get back to track work.”

Currie has kept busy with his daughters, a four-year-old and six-month-old, but the appetite for racing has not diminished since the setback.

“I broke my neck before and it probably weighed on me more then, than it does now,” Currie said.

“Obviously no-one wants to fall off and hurt themselves, but I’m no more chance of falling off now than anyone else, or what I was 12 months ago.

“If I could ride work now I would be back at the track tomorrow.”

Originally published asLuke who’s back: Top jockey eyes remarkable return

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