Josh Parr has made a triumphant return to Sydney racing at Randwick, three months after being sidelined with a debilitating nerve disorder.
The Group One-winning jockey had not ridden in town since May 13 after being diagnosed with brachial neuritis, an uncommon affliction which causes severe pain and loss of nerve function.
Prior to the diagnosis, Parr feared he may not ride again.
But the popular jockey was back doing what he does best on Saturday, winning at his first Sydney ride back aboard the Bjorn Baker-trained Kiss The Bride in the opening race.
Jockey and trainer made it an early double two races later when they combined for a victory with frontrunner Frosty Rocks.
“It’s terrific. I felt so energised when I turned up here at Randwick,” Parr said.
“It’s my favourite racecourse by a long way, it just has such a great feel to it. Obviously, it’s a Group One race day so it’s nice and easy to get up for that.”
After a course of medication and intensive physiotherapy, Parr tested the waters with his first race ride at a provincial meeting two weeks ago.
He came through it well and upped the ante to take four rides at Randwick for the opening Group One meeting of the season.
Parr said it was important to hit the ground running after missing more than three weeks of the new racing term.
“I did hope I could come back and return in winning style very quickly, just to create a bit of momentum because I’ve missed the start on a few of the other guys for the season,” Parr said.
Kiss The Bride ($5) recorded his second consecutive win in the Gold Coast Turf Club Trophy (2400m), scoring by a half-length over Birth Of Venus ($6.50) with Home Ground ($4.40) a close third.
The winner has earned a shot at the Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m) on September 4.
“He is really progressive and he just puts in. I thought the 2400 would really suit him today,” Baker said.
Frosty Rocks ($5) enjoyed an uncontested lead and zipped away in the straight to comfortably take out the Heineken Handicap (1600m).