Apprentice Justin Huxtable is keen to make up for lost time when he returns to race riding at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Huxtable was hospitalised after rupturing his spleen, among other injuries, in a freak incident at the Gold Coast race meeting on January 9.
He was tossed from his mount Rhapsody Rose in the enclosure as the field was parading then was on the receiving end of a double-barrelling from the clerk of the course’s pony, who took fright at the initial incident.
Huxtable received a clearance to return to trackwork on Monday and is eager to be back at the races, although he has taken only one ride aboard Bold Xavvi in the Racecourse Village Handicap (1000m).
“I want to take it slowly this week with one ride then steam ahead in the coming weeks,” Huxtable said.
“I was back into it on Tuesday riding a few trackwork then skipped over the road to Doomben for a couple of trials.”
Huxtable is pleased with how his body has recovered in the days following his first serious fitness test.
“Everything went well and the body feels good so it’s exciting to be back,” he said.
While his aerobic fitness was not an issue, Huxtable admitted his muscle memory took some readjusting.
“In the scheme of things people might think that five weeks isn’t that long to be away but not sitting on a horse for that amount of time, it’s quite foreign when you get legged up on one,” he said.
“For the first couple of horses I rode I was quite wobbly and you do lose quite a bit of balance without doing it repeatedly.”
Huxtable is keen to be reunited with trainer Chris Munce’s talented filly Boomnova when she makes her return to racing at the Gold Coast next month.
“Chris made it very clear to me that I need to be at full fitness if I’m going to be riding her in The Jewel, so obviously that’s an incentive,” Huxtable said.
Boomnova won three races in a row over the summer before finishing sixth in the Magic Millions QTIS Handicap (1300m) after working hard from the outside alley.