Richard Johnson: Concussion means I'm out until 2018
The champion jockey reflects on his eventful Boxing Day at Wetherby, with a nasty tumble in the handicap chase ruling him out of Newbury and Cheltenham.
Boxing Day at Wetherby was definitely a game of two halves.
It was great to ride a double, but I then suffered a nasty tumble on Grey Gold in the handicap chase which left me concussed and I had to be stood down for the rest of the day.
Off until Tuesday at the earliest
If you get concussion you are off for a mandatory seven days, which means Tuesday is the earliest I can return unfortunately.
It’s really frustrating to be missing out on Newbury on Saturday and Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, especially as I feel absolutely fine.
I understand that safety has to come first, though, so I just have to sit and suffer. I’m heading up to York now [Thursday] to see a neurologist to get checked out but I’m sure everything will be fine.
The earliest I can do the baseline test is Monday, so I might be riding at either Ffos Las or Ayr on Tuesday. It’s not a time of year you want to be off, but it could be a lot worse.
In a way I was lucky that Chepstow was off on Wednesday, as I would have hated to miss out on Rock The Kasbah in the Welsh Grand National.
It was a shame for everyone at the course that it had to be abandoned, but we can all look forward to the race on Saturday week.
Nice to have a Boxing Day double
It was great to get a couple on the board at Wetherby.
Petticoat Tails got the job done in the end, although she still has plenty to learn. Her jumping was a little sticky but the experience will have done her good and she should continue to progress throughout the season.
It was quite hard work for Dalaman in the novices’ handicap hurdle, but he showed a really good attitude. The ground was very tiring, but he kept finding all the way up the home straight and he’s won three of his last four now. He’s going the right way.
I hope you all had a great Christmas and I’ll be back on Friday to give my thoughts on the big races over the weekend and on New Year’s Day.