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Southern Districts Stalwarts Back In The Saddle After Injury Layoff

Jockeys Brendan Ward and Michael Travers couldn’t be anymore in sync if they planned it as they make their return to race riding from injuries this long weekend.

Brendan Ward winning aboard Undaoaf last year. Credit: Bradley Photos.

Travers, who has been out injured since November and Ward since just before Christmas, will ironically  return at Moruya on Saturday followed by Wagga on Monday.

Ward has been riding for 30 years and has been itching to get back for weeks after an operation on his hip left him with pins and a rod as a permanent reminder of a trackwork accident.“I rode at Wagga thinking my hip was alright but it got worse,” he said. “I had a fracture and that has put me out for just over three months.

“Unfortunately, injuries are part and parcel of this job but I have had a good recovery and have been back riding track work for two weeks.

“It’s the equal longest I have been out of race riding and I have been keen to get back for a fair while.”

Ward is most looking forward to riding Undaoaf in the Fying (1000m) at Wagga on Monday.

The sprinter is resuming from a spell and faces a strong line-up in the feature race which includes recent Wagga winners Nicof and Lucky Symbol as well as either Clipper or Mossman George.

Michael Travers speaking to Sky after a win. Credit: Bradley Photos.

Trainer Matthew Dale will start only one of his representatives with Clipper the most likely.

“I have won a few races on Undaoaf and I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes,” Ward said.

Ward has ridden Undaoaf four times for three wins and a second and rates him as his best winning chance.

Meanwhile Travers will have a busy return after passing a test following a fall in November.

The experienced jockey will also ride at Nowra on Sunday for a total of ten rides over the three days.

“It’s been a long time out and I’m looking forward to getting back riding and hopefully landing some winners,” he said.

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