Tue | Jun 19, 2018

Easing into the saddle ... Walker taking it easy on return

Published:Saturday | January 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey
Omar Walker aboard SHE'S A MANEATER earlier this year.
Omar Walker
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Derrick Keith, the agent for top jockey Omar Walker, said the six-time champion jockey plans to take it easy as he makes his way back to the saddle today after a three month lay-off due a broken-arm.

Walker broke his right arm on the exercise track on October 13 last year and had been out of action since. He has two rides on today's 10-race programme, both for trainer Wayne DaCosta.

Keith told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday that Walker only returned to exercise riding last Wednesday, and therefore is not a hundred percent fit yet.

"He is about 95 per cent fit in his body, but the doctor passed the hand and tell him that he could go back to work because if it wasn't well then the doctor would not give him the OK to ride," said Keith.

"He said he just wants to ride in two races alone because he has been out of the saddle for three months, so he said he is not fully race-fit and so he doesn't want no more than (a few) rides and after, then he will be riding in more races," Keith said.

In the second event, he will be aboard the three-year-old ARIA, then in the sixth, he will ride the highly fancied four-year-old ARMAGEDDON.

He added that Walker, who will be aiming for his seventh jockey's title this year, is looking forward to today's race day.

"He is not nervous because he wants to ride more than anything else because right now, he is feeling happy in himself," Keith said.

 

Great expectations

 

"The fans can expect great things as usual: winning races because he plans to defend his jockey's title, and he is looking forward to this year," he said.

"But I think this year it is going to me a little more challenging because you have Dick (Cardenas), and Dane (Nelson) is going to be here for a while and so it is going to be very competitive," Keith said.

"It is not every trainer give us rides outside of Wayne DaCosta, but he is confident that he will get the job done," Keith noted.