Matthew Chadwick is looking for a clear run at the rest of the season after limping through what he describes as a “bumpy” start to the campaign.
The 30-year-old returned from a concussion last week, suffered during a fall at Sha Tin on November 29, but he hopes it puts a cap on what has been a stop-start season to date.
“It has been very frustrating, since the beginning of the season there has been bumps in the
road – it hasn’t been fluent,” he said.
“From a personal point of view it started off well because I was getting support from a wide variety of trainers and then I was hit with a couple of suspensions which I thought were maybe 50-50. We all know the story of what happens when you are out for a couple of days.
“I’m trying to get away, but the anchor has been pulling me down. I had work done on my eyes at the start of the season, then I had some minor surgery on my back which gave me some pain – there has been four or five things that haven’t helped.
“Then the accident happens, that’s another week out so it’s six meetings missed – you’d rather miss them consecutively.
“Hopefully I can get a clear run at it now, get some support and then show them what I can do.”
Chadwick was the first rider to go through the new concussion protocols implemented by the Jockey Club, which sees those affected put through a series of cogitative tests before they are allowed to return.
“It was frustrating not being able to ride [on Sunday, December 6],” Chadwick said.
“I think it was more of a delayed amnesia rather than a concussion because I sat up and I was quite aware of what was happening at the time.
“I was the first person to be put through the new protocols, which was a week of physiotherapy. I had to pass the SCAT test again, which went all smoothly.”
Chadwick – who had dealt with two prior head injuries – believes his most recent one was the most minor.
However, in a sign of how serious the Jockey Club is about dealing with head injuries, he was forced to spend two days in hospital following the accident.
“It was a long two days in hospital. It’s about the third time it has happened to me, this one was probably the most mild because I thought I was OK,” he said.
“They brought in a new SCAT test which we have a baseline that we all did at the start of the season, we have to pass that to see where we sit regarding our memory.
“Then there are five days of physio things like balance and coordination tests to be passed fit to ride.”
Chadwick goes into Wednesday night’s Happy Valley meeting with just four rides, but he admits he is just happy to be back in the saddle again.
He will ride Pakistan Zindabad, President Star, Toycoon and Prince Of Frog on the night.
“When you’re on the sideline, you can’t do much,” he said.