By Duane Ranger
Spare a thought for promising first-season reinsman, Jack Colley-Presnell.
The 20-year-old has been off the scene with ‘slipping rib syndrome’ for several weeks, and doctors still have no idea when the Gold Coast concession/claiming driver will be cleared to return to the track.
“I’m just sitting at home in quite a bit of pain, and waiting to get a clearance. The doctors will hopefully give me the green light soon. If not, I might have to undergo surgery.
“It’s not the perfect start to my driving career is it?” said Colley-Presnell, who has reined 15 winners in his break-out season.
His last driving success came aboard his boss’s brown gelding at Redcliffe on January 17. The Jack Butler trained Destiny Warrior got up by a head.
"Jack and Tara have not only been patient with me but they have been so supportive. I’ve developed so much as a driver and worker since I’ve started working for them. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunities they have given me.
“I just wish I could do more, but I’m laid-up and playing a waiting game. It’s so frustrating,” the former Parkridge State High School student said.
Colley-Presnell, who is based at Logan Village, said he thinks he got the injury a couple of years ago when he had a dirt-bike accident.
“I just woke up one morning about five or six weeks ago and I was in intense pain, and have been since. It had to be that dirt-bike spill.
“I have taken cortisone shots (injections) in both sides of my ribs but that did nothing. I’m going to get acupuncture tomorrow (Thursday) so here’s hoping that works.
“I’ve had enough of this. Driving racehorses has been my dream since my ‘Pop’ introduced me to the sport as a youngster,” Colley-Presnell said.
In fact his grandfather, Ken Colley (who owned standardbreds), made such an impression on him, Colley-Presnell gave the sport away when he died a three years ago.
“’Pop’ got me into the sport and he was my inspiration. I worked for Shane Graham part-time when I was at school, and then when I left Parkridge I worked for Grant Dixon.
“Not long after ‘Pop” passed away I became despondent and left the industry and became an apprentice mechanic. Then after a couple of years of that I realised I missed the sport so much. That’s when I came back and worked for Jack.
“Now I’m hooked and harness racing is definitely my future, not mechanics,” he said.
Colley-Presnell drove his first winner behind the Ryan Veivers trained Vader at Albion Park on September 27 last year.
“That’s been the highlight of my brief driving career so far. I haven’t won any big races yet, but hopefully many will come one day,” Colley-Presnell said.
Footnote: Slipping rib syndrome is a rare cause of abdominal or lower chest pain that can remain un-diagnosed for many years. It is caused by hyper-mobility of the floating ribs (ribs 8 to 12) which are not connected to the sternum, but attached to each other with ligaments.