Gina Andrews has made a faster-than-expected return to race riding following a fall at Larkhill last month.
The five-times Skinner's women's champion (pictured above) was thought to have broken a collarbone in the incident on January 26, and expected to be side-lined for at least four weeks, but is back to ride Vedetteriat in tomorrow's Smerdon Tree Services/Bedlinog Cubs Welsh Foxhunter Open Hunters' Chase (4.45) at Ffos Las.
Andrews said yesterday: "The doctor at Larkhill told me they thought I had broken the collarbone, but I didn't want to go and wait in a hospital for an X-ray to be told the same thing.
"A few days later I realised the injury was not as sore as I would have expected, so contacted the BHA and they said I would need an X-ray to confirm whether there was a break before I could ride again. I had that done, and it seems I had just aggravated an old injury and generally given myself a painful shoulder."
Vedettariat was a good incentive to return to action, and Andrews is looking forward to riding Haymount in the ladies' open at Chaddesley Corbett on Sunday. If he wins he will be her mount in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase at next month's Cheltenham Festival.
Her husband, Tom Ellis, who trains the pair, said of Vedettariat: "He had a touch of a leg, which is why he's been off a long time, but everything is in his favour tomorrow. He's won over that trip in Ireland and will love heavy ground – the wetter the better. We made such a mess of him in his first season, and when we ran him on soft he won by half the track."
He said of Haymount: "He's coming on nicely, and will hopefully win and take the pressure off. Then we can crack on for Cheltenham. He won at Sheriff Hutton [last month], but had a good blow three out and again before the last. He'll be fitter this time."
Ellis will also be saddling runners at Barbury Racecourse on Sunday, where Gina's brother Jack, and Will Thirlby, who rides out at the yard, will partner the stable's two horses in the JRL Group Flat race.