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Injured Stewart, Beasley on the mend

Both Kranji-based Australians hope to resume riding quickly

Ronnie Stewart and Danny Beasley are injured, with both Australian jockeys aiming to return to the saddle as soon as possible.

Of the two, Stewart is more seriously hurt. 

He has a wrist injury and is unlikely to ride for at least another two to three weeks, while the prognosis for Beasley’s mouth injury is much better.

Stewart ended up with a bruised left hand in a starting-stall incident on Aug 28, when his mount, debutant Richaven, got cast. 

While no fracture was detected, he was recommended rest for at least six weeks, which explains his absence from the last three Kranji meetings.

“When that new horse of Stephen Gray’s played up in the gates, it knocked my left hand quite badly. But I didn’t think too much of it then,” he said.

“I continued to ride in another three races. But while riding the last one, Shihab for Michael Clements, the wrist had become sore and bruised.

“The horse was laying in, so when I pulled the stick to the left hand, I could only hit three times and had to stop. It was too sore back behind the thumb. 

“My hand was shaking when I came back. That was when I had to be stood down (from his remaining six rides).”

With the throbbing pain in his wrist not receding the next day, Stewart’s worst fears that he could be facing an enforced holiday were soon confirmed.

“The hospital did an X-ray and an MRI scan. There was no fracture, but I had compound bruising, and the specialist was worried about any more muscle tear diagonally across the thumb,” he said.

“They put my hand in a wrist splint to keep it immobilised for six weeks to facilitate the healing. 

“It’s very annoying as I don’t want to stay out of the saddle that long. I spoke to the doctor and he agreed to see me earlier and re-assess the wrist.

“I’m booked to see him on Oct 3. Hopefully, I can come back on the Queen Elizabeth II Cup meeting on Oct 15.

“That is the aim, I don’t know whether it’s achievable. 

“At least, I feel my wrist is improving compared to last week, when I didn’t have much hope it would heal quickly.”

A quick call to a fellow Queensland jockey restored some confidence.

“I then rang Larry Cassidy, who is a good mate of mine. He had exactly the same injury and he reassured me it would improve quite quickly in the fourth week,” said Stewart, who was based in Queensland before moving to Singapore in March 2022. 

“In the meantime, I can’t do much exercise, but I walk and run every day just to stay fit.”

Beasley’s jaw injury happened more recently, during trackwork on Sept 15. 

His mount, Lim’s Denali, suddenly jacked his head up, smacking him straight in the face.

“He flipped his head back and hit my mouth. It’s very sore, there’s a lot of swelling and I had to get some stitches around it,” said Beasley, who had to be replaced on his two rides on Saturday.

“I also have ulcers inside my mouth, which makes eating a challenge. The mouth’s in a mess right now.

“I haven’t ridden trackwork since Thursday. The doctor told me it’s best not to ride as a precaution since it can cause infection to the wounds.

“I’m going back to see the doctor this Thursday. But, right now, I would say riding this Saturday is 50/50. If I do, it’ll be only for a couple of rides.”

While not commanding many rides these days, Beasley would be keen to renew ties with champion horse Lim’s Lightning in the Group 1 QEII Cup and Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2,000m) on Nov 19.

Stewart was in the mix for both Cups on the Clements-trained Prosperous Return, but it is now all up in the air.

HORSE RACING