Racing

Collett fractures heel and back

Jockey Alysha Collett suffered a fractured lower backbone and right heel after a race fall at Kranji on Sunday.

The New Zealander is currently warded in the Singapore General Hospital awaiting further tests to ascertain if she is clear of any other injury.

Collett is otherwise conscious, can move her limbs, and is in good spirits.

She said she remembered the fall, even if it all happened in a split second.

Riding Drone in Race 6, a Class 4 Non Premier race over 1,000m on the Polytrack, Collett fell off at the 250m mark when her mount appeared to be squeezed in restricted room between Thunderstruck (Vlad Duric) and Racer King (Daniel Moor).

Drone blundered as a result, unseating Collett, who fell heavily to the ground. She was seen picking herself up with some difficulty after a few seconds, and was shortly attended to by the ambulance staff.

"It happened so quickly. I felt like I was being catapulted!" said Collett. "I was a bit worried as I was so close to the other two horses, and could get hurt more badly. It was really painful and I couldn't move much, especially around my back.

"But instinctively, the first thing I did was check if my head was okay, and I remember thinking I was good and then I checked if I could move my limbs, and they were fine.

"So, that was a relief. Still, after the X-rays were done at the hospital, they found a fracture to my L1 (lumbar) vertebra and my right heel.

"They also did an MRI on my brain and it was clear. So, under the circumstances, I'm as good as I could possibly be - it could have been worse."

As a precaution, Collett will undergo another MRI scan to her spine to make sure she did not suffer any other injury in that area before doctors decide on the next course of action - surgery or not.

While Collett awaits her mother who flies in from New Zealand today and her sister Tasha who arrives with her husband, jockey Andrew Calder, next week, fellow jockeys have been rallying around her, especially fellow Kiwi Craig Grylls and apprentice jockey Zyrul Nor Azman, whom she knew well from his time honing his craft in New Zealand.

"Craig and Zy have been amazing. They've helped me around at the hospital, and Craig also filled out all the forms and paperwork," said Collett.

"I can't wait for my mum to be here. My sister Tasha was planning to come over for holidays already, and it'll be great to have her and Andrew around as well."

An inquiry will be held to determine the cause of the fall when Collett will be fit to give evidence.

The Michael Clements stable reported that Drone returned sore after the fall and will be assessed over the next few days.

HORSE RACING