By Glenn Davis
Injured apprentices Jackson Murphy and Clayton Gallagher will make their riding comebacks at Ipswich on Wednesday.
Murphy, who is indentured to Eagle Farm trainer Chris Anderson, hasn’t ridden since being injured in a fall at Doomben on December 29 and has taken three rides at the meeting.
He was thrown from the Toby Edmonds-trained Granny Red Shoes in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate.
Murphy hurt his right hand which required surgery and has undergone extensive physiotherapy ahead of his riding return.
Gallagher injured his lower back when thrown from a horse at Eagle Farm last month.
Murphy has two rides for his master aboard Sixes in the Maiden Plate (1000m) and Epic Girl in the filly’s division of the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1200m) while he will also partner the Brian Smith-trained Hirtshals in the Class Five Handicap (1000m).
Gallagher has two rides aboard the Beau Gorman-trained Elite Label in the Maiden Plate (1666m) and the Mick Lakey-trained Enterprise Louise in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap for fillies.
Anderson is glad to have Murphy back riding and resisted the temptation for him to return earlier.
“He’s been away from racing for about three months and we didn’t want to rush him back,” Anderson said.
“He’s a natural lightweight and he hasn’t had any problems with his weight during his absence.”
Anderson said Murphy returned to trackwork riding three weeks ago and has ridden in several jumpouts.
“Unfortunately, both of mine have drawn poorly but I think Epic Girl is still a good eachway chance,” Anderson said.
“Her last run was super when she ran second at the Gold Coast.”
Anderson has only two weeks to go before he begins his much-anticipated training partnership with fellow Eagle Farm trainer Rob Heathcote.
“We start off on May 1 and I’m really looking forward to it,” Anderson said.
Gallagher also is making a low-key return on Elite Label and Enterprise Louise.
Elite Label was placed in a 1400-metre maiden at the Sunshine Coast on April 7 while Enterprise Louise won a 1000-metre Benchmark 65 race on a slow track at the Sunshine Coast on March 31.
“It’s been a few weeks now since he’s ridden in a race but since last Friday, he’s been riding seven or eight at the track every morning,” his master Les Ross said.
Enterprise Louise is one of four Lakey runners at Ipswich which are all owned by Beaudesert hobby breeder Dr Brian Purtle.
Racing Queensland webnews April 16