KINSALE jockey Ben Curtis is currently lying second in the British Jockey’s Championship and hopes to be back riding shortly after dislocating his shoulder when winning on Crack Regiment at Newcastle last Friday evening.
The Cork man is riding superbly right now and has really climbed the ladder in England during the last couple of seasons.
He is now riding in all the big Group 1 races and had just produced his mount to take up the running in the Three Mile Handicap when his shoulder popped out of its joint, but he managed to retain his balance and still win the race.
“Everything is good, I have no pain at my end. It was a shame really; the race went perfect up until that point. I just went to give him one reminder and my shoulder popped out, which made it a little bit uncomfortable in the last 100 yards. Luckily, we still won, but it wasn’t an ideal situation,” Curtis said.
“Your arm just goes limp and it just feels like a dead weight. There’s not much you can do, I was just trying to keep him straight with one arm.
“The arm is fairly useless at that point. I’ve done it before, coincidentally at Newcastle, it really dropped down a long way and was very painful, but yesterday it hadn’t dropped too far.
“It was painful, I spent the next five minutes trying to persuade someone to put it back in but no one would take the risk and I was shipped off to hospital.”
Curtis started out with John Murphy in Upton before going on to work with John Oxx at the Curragh.
He’s had a great grounding and is reaping the benefits of his time spent here.
He has been receiving great reviews across the water and is now riding for top trainers including Mark Johnson.
Like every sportsperson, Curtis wants to be champion and he is eager to get back to riding winners as soon as possible.
“I went had an X-ray, once they realised no bone had chipped they put it back in and did another X-ray and they were happy with the way it had set.
“There’s not much pain this morning and hopefully no lasting damage.
“Timeline wise, from my point of view I’d be well able to get back by the end of the week, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops and there’s a lot of red-tape, so it will ultimately be up to Jerry Hill when I get back and he has my best interests at heart.
I’ll get in to see a specialist in York and if they think it could happen again I’ll bite the bullet and have an operation in the winter, but it’s not a great time of year to be out, it’s the busiest period.”
The Irish Derby went to the Charlie Appleby trained Hurricane Lane who got the better of Lone Eagle in a thrilling conclusion to the main event last weekend.
Frankie Dettori looked to have slipped the field heading to the two furlong point but William Buick timed his run to absolute perfection to edge out the brilliant Italian.
The English duo finished well clear of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Wordsworth who stayed on to be third and best of the home team.
This race has been very uncompetitive in recent years so the English challenge added to the intrigue and competitiveness of this high profile Group 1 contest.
The top two looked very good and may go on to better things this summer.
Perhaps the most impressive performance of the weekend was the victory of the Jessica Harrington-trained Cadillac in the ARM Holding International Stakes at the Curragh. Having raced in top-class company as a juvenile, Cadillac had not been seen since running creditably at the Breeders’ Cup.
Beaten half a length by subsequent Irish Guineas winner MacSwiney in the Futurity Stakes, he went on to win on Irish Champions Weekend booking his ticket for America before finishing fifth in the Dewhurst.
He lost little in defeat in the Juvenile Turf, coming home fourth of 14 and Harrington was keen to given him plenty of time to get over those exertions.
It was very interesting to hear Harrington talk down his chances before the race as she felt the horse was only 80% fit.
As well as that the stable is just not firing this season and winners have been infrequent for such a high profile operation.
All the money was for the Willie Mullins-trained True Self who has enjoyed a couple of trips to Australia.
But entering the final furlong Cadillac was all guts and battled like a lion to see off the late surge of Dawn Patrol.
Jockey Shane Foley thought he was beaten, but Cadillac managed to stick his head down when it mattered most.
Harrington said: “I thought he was beaten. I’m delighted for the horse as things didn’t go his way last autumn and to come back now, having had a bit of a setback earlier in the spring, is fantastic.
“We’ll try to win a Group One with him. He may have one more run and then go for the Irish Champion Stakes.
“He loves Leopardstown. He’s a proper horse to do that on his first run of the year. He had to squeeze through and do all the things he hadn’t done before.”