Western Australia-based jockey Brad Parnham will make his long-awaited return to race riding next Wednesday at Belmont Park.
The son of leading WA trainer Neville Parnham hasn’t race ridden since he fell at Ascot back on January 20 last year.
Despite having his spine fused, it appeared even four months ago that Parnham would not be able to make a comeback with his body not healing as intended.
However, a strenuous three-month rehabilitation strengthening program has resulted in the improvement he needed.
“I had instability in ligaments around my C4 that had to reduce by a few millimetres for me to return and thankfully the exercises have achieved that,” Parnham said.
Parnham has now ridden 19 trials since the middle of last month and says he is now ready to return on race day.
“This whole process has been long and strategic, I’m in no rush and I’ve made sure I’m 100 per cent before returning on race day,” Parnham said.
“I’m feeling confident out there, my instincts are back, so I’m excited about my return next Wednesday.”
Parnham said he will take it easy initially, ensuring that he’s still looking after himself through the first few weeks.
“I won’t take full books to start, I just want a few nice rides to ease myself back into it and I won’t ride under 57kg for my first week or two as I get use to the vigours of race riding again,” he said.
Having finished equal second in the 2017/18 WA Premiership, Parnham is keen to establish himself as one of the better Perth-based jockeys again.
“I was having a lot of success prior to my fall and I’m hoping that with hard work and planning I can get back there quickly,” he said.
“I’m keen to expand my trackwork program and get involved with some more Lark Hill-based trainers and hopefully that expansion and hard work can see me riding winners again soon.”
In other news, Parnham’s younger brother, Chris, has had his appeal denied for his involvement in the fall of Burger Time when he rode He’s A Parker to victory in the Listed Bull & Bush Tavery Cup in Bunbury last March.
Parnham will start his 23-day ban after next Wednesday’s meeting.