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Brilliant support at Oaksey House
- AuthorAdam McNamara
This week I finally got my long awaited return to the saddle. Since dislocating my shoulder in June I’ve undergone repair surgery and months of long and hard rehab to get back to racing. It’s been a difficult few months and I couldn’t possibly have done it without all the team at Oaksey House.
The team behind the scenes are incredible, and the support network jockeys have now is state of the art. I can’t imagine how jockeys recovered from injuries ten to fifteen years ago without the help we have now. I’ve been going to Oaksey five days a week since June, and I think I’m fitter and stronger at the moment then I ever have been.
Heidi, Anna and Emma have been in charge of my physio since the injury. They’ve had the arduous task of getting my shoulder back to its full strength and range, all the while having to listen to my rambling on about my every day life and dramas. Heidi also runs the Monday yoga classes and has to deal with a bunch of jockeys with absolutely no flexibility, very little concentration and dreadful humour. When I started in the gym Gavin and Rob were in charge of my strength and conditioning. They’d been at Oaksey for quite a few years between them and it’s evident that they knew exactly how far to push and when to take a break. They’re also a comedic duo and would normally be found winding someone up, usually Heidi.
During the rehab process Katie and Harry joined the team and got up to speed very quickly. Katie has a great ability to get you working hard without you realising, and Harry generally isn’t smiling unless you’ve worked so hard you look like you might throw up or pass out. I’ve gotten to know everyone very well over the last few months and I could go on at length about each of them as individuals, but I don’t think I could do any of them justice in a single blog. The main thing for me was that although they’re all experts in rehabilitation, strength and conditioning and fitness, it’s the day to day conversations and laughter that really makes the difference. I spent most days in Oaksey laughing through the sessions, and on the bad days they found a way to lift you back up so that by the time you left you couldn’t wait to go back the next day. It’s a tight knit community that genuinely cares for the jockeys that walks through their doors. From the physios, to the team in the gym, to the people in the office, through to the team behind the scenes at the IJF.
Dusky Prince was my first ride back, and I jumped out the door like a kid on Christmas morning to drive to Wolverhampton on Tuesday. He was a big enough price at around 50-1 but he outran his odds to finish fourth, not beaten all that far. He travelled well through a steadily run race and was probably just caught for a little bit of toe when they quickened off the bend. I did feel a small bit rusty on his back which I was expecting, but he put his head down for me and tried hard. I got quite a buzz out of being back on the track and I had two more that ran well on Saturday.
Some Nightmare finished second for John O’Shea on his return to action after a little break. He’s done nothing but improve all year and there looks to be more races to be won with him. He was down in trip to five furlongs on Saturday and he was doing his best work late but didn’t have enough time to get to the winner. He’ll run over six next time and he’ll go very close I’m sure.
It was a similar story with Dundory who finished fourth for John. He stepped down to seven and we were completely outpaced early and again put in some good work late. It was probably his best run this year and I’m just hoping he improves a little bit when he’s back up in trip or he may struggle to get his head in front off this sort of mark.
It’s back to Wolverhampton for one this evening. I’m on board Stiletto for Ben James in the 5:30. Ben bought this lad out of John Gosdens in the horse in training sales and he looks like he could have been a good buy. He’s by Frankel and he’s run well without winning in his four starts to date. I’ve been down to Ben’s yard in Dorset to sit on this lad before and he’s given me a nice feel. He’s not ran since January so he’s likely to be a little rusty and it’s a competitive race but I’m hopeful for a good run .
Harrowells offers specialist legal support to trainers, breeders, racecourses, owners and jockeys. Our sponsorship of professional jockey, Adam McNamara, is one of a number of initiatives undertaken in support of the horse racing industry.
Adam is not an employee of Harrowells Limited and is sponsored under a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) compliant sponsorship contract. The views he expresses in his blogs and on his social media accounts are his own.
Our articles are intended for general information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We are always very happy to discuss any plans, issues or concerns you may have and to clarify how we might be able to help. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.