Apprentice Launches Successful Comeback


Apprentice Jessica Gray was determined to get back in the saddle and continue her racing career after sustaining a serious neck injury last year.

If anything the setback only stiffened Gray’s resole and any thoughts of giving up on being a jockey and changing sports was never entertained.

Gray underwent months of intensive rehabilitation after she fell from a young horse and fractured her c7 vertebrae in a track work accident.

But her single-minded determination to ride again paid off in a big way when early into her comeback she booted home a Carnarvon double.

Last Friday, combining with trainer Rob Gulberti, Gray came from behind the field on Salty and produced a similar well-timed run aboard Salty.

Gray said she is delighted to be back in the saddle and more more importantly punching home winners and regaining her confidence.

“It felt amazing after all that time off,” Gray told Tabradio’s The Sunday Aftermath.

“I was in a pretty bad place after the accident and pretty down on everything.

“I think I have only been back two months and it’s a pretty big achievement.

“There was no doubt in my mind I wanted to ride again.

“The problem was trying to keep me away from the horses.

“To come back and ride winners is a great feeling again.

“I’m so relived because I put too much pressure on myself.

“I don’t like coming away without a winner wherever I go.”

Gray said host trainer Adam Durrant has played a pivotal role in her come back.

“I definitely cannot thank my boss enough,” Gray said.

“The first day I walked in after getting my clearance he put me on six gallops and two slow works,

“It’s been all go from there and he has given me plenty of rides at home to get fit.

“I would not have got back this fast without his support.”

Julio Santarelli