Popular central districts jockey Robert Hannam faces another extended stint on the sidelines following an injury in trackwork this week. Less than three years after an ankle injury that put him out of action for eight months, Hannam has again broken a bone in his leg.
“I was just on my way back off the track after riding trackwork, it was quite early on Thursday morning and it was quite a windy morning,” the 54-year-old said. “The horse just got a bit of a fright and ended up kicking me and breaking my femur.
“It’s been a bit of a bad run over the last few years. I had my ankle break when I was riding in India a couple of years ago, and I’d actually only just had my screws and rods taken out from that over the last few weeks. Just when I thought I was getting back to normal, this happens. When it rains, it pours!
“But I was fortunate in a way – not to have the injury, but with how quickly things happened afterwards. They were able to operate on my leg on that Thursday afternoon, and I was out of hospital yesterday. It’s good to be back home and recuperating here.”
Hannam has ridden more than 1000 winners in New Zealand, with 47 black-type wins including five at Group 1 level. His 2018-19 season featured a new personal best with five Group and Listed victories – the Group 2 Wellington Guineas (1400m) on Emily Margaret, Group 3 Manawatu Cup (2200m) aboard Rock On, Group 3 South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) on Residential, Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) with Emily Margaret and Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m) aboard Hinerangi.
Hannam hopes to be back in the saddle towards the end of this year. “The doctors said I’m looking at a minimum of six to eight weeks’ recovery time,” he said. “Things are still a little bit up in the air at the moment and we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m picking that I’ll be absolutely itching to get back into it by the end of that time. “Racing’s been so good to me for so many years, and the passion is definitely still there. I’d love to think I’ll be getting back into it later in the year.”