The veteran hoop will remarkably ride the horse he fell from on the Sunshine Coast in December at Doomben on Saturday in his first run back from injury.
Respected hoop Michael Cahill admits the thought of giving up riding briefly crossed his mind after his shocking fall on the Sunshine Coast last year, but it didn’t last long as he prepares to resume racing for the first time since December at Doomben on Saturday. .
Cahill was left with a fractured C4 in his neck as well as a broken left shoulder blade after falling from Why We Drink last year, but he says the lure of competitive racing has once again vanquished any doubts he had. he had on returning to the sport he loves.
Ironically, Why We Drink will be the first horse Cahill rides on his return on Saturday, with the jockey saying he holds no hard feelings towards the horse, calling the fall a racing incident.
After making a slow recovery, Cahill was cleared by specialists on Wednesday and given the green light to return.
“It will be good to get out there and compete, that competitive side is still in your blood,” Cahill said.
“Jockeys my age, like Robbie Fradd and myself, I can’t speak for Robbie, but you never plan too far.
“You just enjoy it and take it as it comes.
“(Retirement) crossed my mind, but racing hasn’t lost its appeal, I still enjoy the pure drive.”
A broken neck would be very concerning, but it’s not even the worst injury Cahill has suffered while riding.
The veteran was left with a bleeding brain, a punctured lung and fractured ribs following a fall, also on the Sunshine Coast, in 2000.
“It was serious,” he recalls. “I was flown to Brisbane for that, I rode the first winner, I remember leaving for the races in the morning and I don’t remember anything after that until I woke up in hospital on Monday morning in Brisbane.
“Saying all that, I’ve only been out for four months.”
After riding tracks and testing for six weeks, Cahill says he feels like he’s never left, but he’s weight limited in terms of what he can ride, which leaves him three outings on Saturday.
“It’s never easy to lose weight once you put it on, but I think my physical shape is pretty good,” he said.
“It was like I never left, I remember riding my first horse the morning I got back and it felt natural, but my muscles weren’t like that the next day.
“Obviously I’m a bit lacking in match fitness, but I’ve been training and doing some riding work, running about 12 tries.”
Originally published as Competition brings Michael Cahill back to racing after seven month injury layoff in fall