Champion jockey Paul Harvey will take his first step back towards a comeback for the rich Ascot spring carnival when he rides the mechanical horse at Ascot this week.
Broken bones and injuries have kept Harvey sidelined in the past in a long and decorated career, but never has an injury had such an impact as when he broke his right shoulder in a fall in the straight from Bull's Express in a 1603m maiden at Pinjarra on May 7.
Harvey sustained two crushed vertebrae in a fall at Kalgoorlie in 1992 which kept him out for two months and an ankle injury last year sidelined him for several weeks.
Harvey has now been out for three months with tissue injury to his shoulder.
"The doctor said he sees about three of these types of injury a year," Harvey said.
"It is right on top of the shoulder. I put my arm out to break the fall and it smashed the top end of the bone.
"Mine wasn't too bad. It was a fracture displacement because I had landed a bit awkward.
"I'll ride the mechanical horse a bit this week and next week and then probably jump on a horse."
Harvey said the injury was still causing him some discomfort.
Harvey has ridden 2450 winners in WA since he started as an apprentice with his uncle Bob Harvey in 1986.
He broke Rod Kemp's record in 1996-97 with 114 city wins and was Australia's most winning jockey with 165 victories. The 44-year-old hoop has won 12 Perth premierships and all of WA's Group 1 events, including four Kingston Town Classics, and on the Eastern seaboard a Victoria Derby, Goodwood Sprint and SA Oaks.
·Kyle Nowland has taken over the management of budding three-kilo claiming apprentice Brayden Gareth. "Brayden has his minimum riding weight down to 54.5kg now and hopes to have it reduced to ride at 53kg for the summer," Nowland said.
"I now have Peter Knuckey and a good young junior."
Nowland can be contacted for bookings on 0404 803893.
·Top jockey Daniel Staeck will start riding in gate trials at the end of next month if he continues to progress in a rehabilitation course after being disqualified for nine months last April.
Staeck resumed trackwork riding last month after under- going counselling and continuing to clear random drug testing by stewards.
A urine sample taken from Staeck was positive to three drugs when he rode at Ascot on March 19.
"I'll ride the mechanical horse a bit this week and next week and then probably jump on a horse."" *Paul Harvey *