By Julieanne Horsman
Deanne Panya has bounced back from injury with an impressive win in her first race after ten weeks on the sideline.
The apprentice jockey booted home $26 chance, Maddison Avenue at Goulburn for Marc Connors, guiding the filly up the rails for a 1/3 length triumph.
“It felt great, it was a real buzz,” Panya said. “She really got going halfway down the straight and was still responding to my riding and just kept on giving.”
“Because she was an outside chance, I was able to go out there and do my thing without too much pressure and I was stoked to get the win on my first ride back.
“Jockeys and trainers welcomed me back and congratulated me which was so nice.”
Panya suffered a broken collar bone and lacerated jaw in a sickening fall from Sebring Express in the Group 3 Widden Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on 28 January. She had to undergo surgery to install a plate and screws in her collar bone and close the gash on her chin.
“It was pretty awful but it could have been so much worse,” she said. “The doctors did an amazing job and I am lucky to have great support from my family and friends.”
While unable to ride, Panya passed the time by drawing. It’s been a hobby since childhood but Panya has recently gained recognition for her artistic ability and there’s a waiting list for her commissions.
“I’m always drawing but it actually helped me recover,” Panya said.
“I was pretty stiff but I started drawing and suddenly I had full range of motion by five weeks.
“When I went back to track work last week it was like nothing had happened. I felt normal and continued where I left off.”
Panya is determined to get on with the job and has a ride at Gosford today, two at Warwick Farm tomorrow and another at Hawkesbury on Thursday.