Tommy Dowling: won on his first ride back from injury
PICTURE: Hugh Routledge
TOMMY DOWLING capped a miraculous return from injury with victory on his first ride in almost five months as Baltic Storm, trained by his boss Charlie Mann, cruised home to take the 2m1½f novice hurdle.
The extent of the injuries he sustained when My Anchor crashed out of a handicap hurdle at Fontwell on the penultimate day of April had doctors predicting a minimum of six months out of the saddle, but Dowling defied those odds to ride his favourite horse.
“This is the horse I’ve been rushing to get back for,” said Dowling. “I think he’s a proper Saturday horse; this is the one who could be a Cheltenham horse.”
Dowling, from Co Wicklow, was riding with two metal rods in his back which will be removed next year, while he also suffered two broken ribs, a broken collarbone, fractured shoulder and badly bruised lungs in his fall.
Despite that catalogue of injuries, Dowling said he felt “100 per cent” after his winning return, describing it as “superb” to be back.
He added: “I was pulling my hair out the last couple of months on the sidelines. I’m delighted the governor’s horses have been winning but there is nothing harder than watching horses you should be riding; it was killing me.
“When I winged the last and had a look behind I just thought thank God! It’s a weight off my shoulders.”
Baltic Storm failed to make it back into the winner’s enclosure, with Dowling dismounting after pulling up, the winner having been struck into on his right fore.
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