Jason Benbow was on the receiving end of a talk no parent wants to have with their child.
But after a broken rotator cuff, a smashed left ankle, a fractured T6 vertebrae, a shattered foot and ankle and “bucketload” of busted ribs, fingers and toes, in 11 years the conversation was inevitable.
“My dad (Bennie) said to me ‘One more fall and that will do you’,” Benbow said.
“He’s recently said that to me. How do you judge that?
“Damien Oliver once said to me, the risks and everything, it’s at the back of your mind, you can’t be naive, the day it’s at the front of your mind is the day you give up.
“I live on that word of advice, it’s (giving up) not at the front of my mind.”
Benbow will head to Flemington on Saturday to ride unbeaten filly Written Miss, which looms as the 33-year-old Group 1 jockey’s best chance of a winner at headquarters in more than four years.
In seven rides on city tracks since September, coming back from a broken foot and ankle, sustained in a fall at Sale in March last year, Benbow has finished no closer than fifth.
“It’s very exciting to have Written Miss but never get too far ahead of yourself in this game, as I have found out,” Benbow said.
Written Miss remains unbeaten heading to Flemington.Source:Getty Images
“I’ll just be happy to get a number in the frame, that’s all I’m after.”
After big wins at Ballarat and Pakenham under Benbow, the explosive filly gets a shot in the big smoke.
“It’s a good stepping stone going to Flemington up the straight and also going up to 1200m,” Benbow said.
“If she’s up to the challenge there’s really exciting times ahead.
“Saturday probably shapes her future to some extent.
“I’m really confident in the horse, confident in (trainer) Caroline (Jennings), she picked this race out, thought it was the right race, if that’s the case, I’m very happy to be lining up on Saturday.”
Written Miss and Jason Benbow after winning at Pakenham last start.Source:Getty Images
Benbow missed 16 months after breaking his ankle and seven bones in his foot in the fall at Sale.
As career uncertainty and frustration grew, the father of three “went cold turkey” watching racing to avoid further mental anguish.
He turned to PlayStation first, playing Formula 1 against racing buddies, including Melbourne Cup winner Jye McNeil, Daniel Stackhouse and Jake Duffy, then golf and go-carts.
“(Go karts) gave me a leg up into wanting to get back (riding), Benbow said.
English jockey Leonna Mayor is on fire after making the switch from the saddle to a television studio in a boom time for women in racing….
English jockey Leonna Mayor is on fire after making the switch from the saddle to a television studio in a boom time for women in racing.
“I always wanted to do it … the desire was there, it was just frustrating because I couldn’t do it.
“When we went go karting … that was first time I noticed there was a void not being replaced by having a desk job (with the National Jockeys’ Trust) … if I couldn’t get back to riding.
“I’m still going to face it at some point, you generally can’t ride forever, but it rekindled the spark.”
Originally published as‘Bucketload’ of busted ribs cannot deter brave jockey
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