Sunday 23 October 2016

Twomey back at southwell

Jockey to have first ride back since suffering serious head injuries two years ago

If summer jump racing doesn't float your boat tomorrow may just be a little different.

Just over two years ago Brian Twomey took a fall from 11/4 favourite Solway Dandy at Perth and it was no ordinary fall. It was a fall that came very close to ending his life, never mind his career.

Twomey spent 157 nights in hospital, the first two weeks of which he spent in an induced coma and he had operations to reduce the swelling of his brain and remove part of his skull. It really was that serious.


Living was the priority but for as long as he can remember, Limerick native Twomey has eyed a return to competitive racing and getting his licence back.

That goal was granted last month and tomorrow at Southwell he will have his first ride since July 4th 2013 and already he hopes that it will be his first winner since the previous June.

Twomey will ride undoubtedly be the focus of the entire racing world but given his small percentage of survival, let alone a return to racing, this is a story that will dominate column inches beyond the racing pages.

The 26-year-old will return on the Phil Kirby-trained Kings Grey in the betbonus.com Claim Your Free Bets Now Novices' Selling Hurdle at 4.20pm tomorrow afternoon.

"The race on Sunday has been my focus for the past two years," said the determined jockey.

"I could have taken the career-ending insurance available to me, but all I wanted to do was be a jockey. It's my passion, it's an addiction and it's been my dream since I was a boy to be a jockey - it's a job and a life I love.

"I can't begin to list the people I want to thank, but I want to go out on Sunday and put in a good performance for them and of course my family."

Five runners will go to post for the two and a half miler and the course and distance winner Kings Grey comes into the race on the back of winning at Aintree last month and looks set to be favourite for Twomey's return to action.

The 11-year-olds trainer Phil Kirby said; "The horse is ready to go, he seems very well and the ground should be perfect.

"Everything has gone to plan and we've done our bit now. Everyone just wants things to go right.


"I don't think Brian is feeling nervous, he's a very confident person. I'm not really feeling any pressure, to be honest. It would be great if it happens, hopefully it will."

Meanwhile, at Perth tomorrow, Gordon Elliott will look to extend his incredible record at the track with runners in six of the seven races on the card.

Elliott has booked the jump championships leading rider Richard Johnson for five of his runners on a card and he will also be hoping to make his mark on the flat this afternoon when Eshtiaal lines up in the John Smith's Stayers Handicap at York.

The fixture at Perth tomorrow also has Irish representation from Pat Griffin, Stuart Crawford, Gavin Cromwell and Paul Stafford, all of whom are regulars with runners at the Scottish track.

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