By Jack Marshall
Group One-winning jockey Blake Spriggs is determined to come back from injury and recapture some of his success from last spring.
Spriggs fell from his mount Minute Silence at Hawksbury on February 9 and initial scans found he had fractured his patella (knee ligament) right down the middle and he also received a significant gash above his eye.
The initial report was six weeks on the sideline but further complications from the break involving the ligaments surrounding the knee forced him to delay his return for a further five weeks to focus on strengthening the knee.
Left: Talented jockey Blake Spriggs - preparing for a comeback after an injury. Image by - Steve Hart Photographics
Now at the 10-week mark of his rehabilitation, Spriggs is working harder than ever to get back to the track and teaming up with former Rabbitohs NRL player, Scott Geddes at his gym which has been greatly beneficial to the process.
“Training with Scott has been great, if anyone knows anything about coming back from knee injuries it would be Scott so he has used that knowledge to help me get back to the track,” Spriggs said.
“With me being a Dragon’s supporter, Scott has pushed me a little harder but it’s all trying to get me back to 100%.”
Spriggs’s success over the past year has spurred him on to return to riding and back in the Group 1 spotlight.
“Obviously riding in a Melbourne Cup is every jockey’s dream and to do it last year was something I will never forgot but it has given me a taste for it and I’m itching to get back there.
“I have a meeting with the surgeon next week (April 27) and hopefully all going well, I can resume riding trackwork the next morning (April 28th).
“After that it looks like May 2nd at Cessnock will be my first meeting back race riding. It will be good to get back into it at a place where I have had ridden plenty of winners.”
Spriggs is hoping to continue his successful partnership with Waratah Thoroughbreds (the syndicate's horse, Sir John Hawkwood, gave him his maiden Group 1 and Melbourne Cup ride) heading into the winter carnival in Queensland.
“I look to have a few good rides up there this year with Maurus apparently heading towards a Doomben Cup and Astronomous also going up there. There are also a few nice two-year-olds I had been riding that look like they will be competitive at the winter carnival.”
Spriggs is confident that he can continue his successful run when he returns and with the support of plenty of owners and trainers believes that a chance for a second Group 1 is only around the corner.