Talented jockey Alysha Collett has been presented with a major incentive to resume her riding career after eight months on the sideline.
The 25-year-old has been relicensed in Singapore from July 1 and is keen to take up the six-month contract once she has regained some of her race-riding fitness and focus in New Zealand.
“I see my surgeon next Monday and hopefully I will get my clearance to start race riding again,” she said.
“I have been riding horses as part of the ACC back-to-work programme and going to the gym most days. If I get my clearance I plan to ride at the Taupo trials the next day then hopefully be back riding at the races the following Saturday at Ruakaka.
“I’m happy to get my Singapore license again. I enjoyed my time over there last year and, though it was a bit slow for me to start with, it was starting to go well until my fall.”
Collett has been off the scene since a fall in Singapore last October left her with serious damage to her L1 lumbar vertebra and a fractured right heel.
She underwent surgery in Singapore to have metal rods and screws inserted to stabilise her lumbar region and it has been a long, slow road to recovery.
“For four months I lost everything (fitness-wise) because I couldn’t move properly,” she said. “I couldn’t do a lot with the rods in. They were a massive restriction.
“But since I had the operation about five weeks ago to have the rods (and screws) removed I’ve been able to do more and start to get my fitness back.
“There is a little bit of restriction because of the scar tissue, but I’ve been working on it and gradually in the last two weeks I’ve got more freedom.”
During her time on the sideline Collett did television appearances as part of the Trackside presentation team at the major summer racing carnivals and, though she enjoyed the media experience, resuming her riding career is her main focus.
Collett has kicked home 409 winners, 375 in New Zealand and 23 in Australia to go with 11 in Singapore. The highlights have included her first Group One win on Consensus in the 2016 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie and finishing second on the New Zealand Jockeys’ Premiership behind Chris Johnson with a personal best of 97 wins in the 2016-17 season.
Though Collett is licensed from July 1 in Singapore, she wants to ensure she is happy with her raceday fitness before heading there.
“It’s too good an opportunity to pass up and I want to get as fit as I can here before I go to Singapore,” she said.
“I know I won’t be as sharp as I was when I went over last year, but I know I’m going to get fitter and sharper as I go along. I’m really looking forward to being back riding and getting over there.” - NZ Racing Desk