Four-time New Zealand Jockeys’ Premiership winner Lisa Allpress is poised to return to the saddle this week following an enforced spell on the side-line.
Allpress has been out of action since she suffered multiple injuries in an accident at the Hawera jump-outs in mid-January and has tagged Friday’s meeting at New Plymouth to launch her comeback.
“I went to the track on Saturday and I took my hunter out for a big ride on Sunday and I was back at the track again on Monday morning and looking forward to doing some gallops,” she said.
Allpress will confirm tentative bookings at New Plymouth after she rides fast work at Wanganui on Tuesday morning.
“At this stage, I’ve got a couple that I can ride on Friday, depending how trackwork goes,” she said.
Allpress suffered broken bones and a lacerated liver when a horse she was aboard at the jump-outs became fractious in the stalls and fell on her when reversed out.
“It felt like the injuries were quite bad, but it was only a fractured ankle and a broken rib. The liver obviously heals quickly and I feel pretty good in myself,” she said.
“I had an x-ray on my ankle last Thursday and the specialist couldn’t see any fracture so I’m ready to get back into it.”
Despite her time away, Allpress remains very much in contention for a fifth premiership title with 59 winners and eight adrift of frontrunner Craig Grylls.
“I see Craig copped a suspension on Saturday so he’ll be out for a little bit and we’ll see what happens,” she said.
Grylls won the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) aboard Coventina Bay at Te Rapa where he admitted a charge of careless riding on Glory Bound in the Gr.2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m) and was outed for six days and fined $400.
Allpress first won the national title in the 2011-12 season and again in 2015-16, 2018-19 and 2019-20, but a repeat isn’t top of her priority list at present.
“I’ve always said that the premiership doesn’t heat up until the last few months and if I’m still in contention I can have a go,” she said.
“It’s not something that is on my mind at the moment and I just want to get back to riding and let things play out.”
While Allpress has been on light duties since her accident, it hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm.
“I was in a moon boot and non-weight bearing for two weeks and then weight bearing last week so I haven’t been too active,” she said.
“I love what I do and there’s definitely no feeling like being out there and winning races. I am really looking forward to returning.
“I tend not to watch the races when I’m out because I get too disappointed and that reiterates that it’s still something I love to do and I want to be out there competing.”