Alannah Fancourt's Hope to Win Title After Overcoming Injury!
Written on the 31 March 2017
After spending months rehabilitating during her apprenticeship, including three months into this season, when she fell and fractured her neck at Toowoomba New Year's Eve 2016, Alannah could win the apprentices metropolitan premiership this season.
Fancourt wasn't sure she'd ever ride again after her injury, but she returned in late October and landed her first win on My Girl Hayley in November.
"I didn't have any expectations when I came back. I was actually worried whether I would get back to where I was, even riding in town," Fancourt said.
"I do get a sore neck at times, but they told me after the fall that would be the case, so I expect it. I have a chiropractor that helps control that pain."
Fancourt has won 22 races from 147 rides to date, giving her a 14% win strike rate, after another win for Tony Gollan on Saturday at Doomben, riding Sheiswhatsheis.
Front runner Tiffani Brooker on the other hand has had 255 rides to date, with 26 wins, giving her a 10% win strike rate.
Gollan believes Fancourt is riding in career best form and he says he will continue to support her, even after she finishes her apprenticeship in October.
"Every time a hurdle has been placed in front of her, she's really jumped at it," Gollan said.
"Any athlete, particularly a rider, it's never easy when you have time off like she did. She was improving rapidly when she had the fall, but basically had to start from scratch again. She had to get her timing back again and we know the biggest thing with riders is confidence and that takes time too."
"She's done a remarkable job and I think what she's doing now is going to hold her in good stead when she comes out of her time."
"Riding doesn't finish when you finish your apprenticeship, but as we know, a lot of good apprentices struggle when they lose that claim. The way she's going, I think she can definitely transform into a successful senior jockey."
Gollan said he would love to see Fancourt win the apprentices title because she's had a "disjointed" apprenticeship, which included weight troubles early on.
"In the early days, I struggled with weight. I just didn't have the knowledge on how to do it properly," Fancourt said.
"Now I am naturally sitting at about 51.5kg to 52kg. I think it helps that I'm happy and in a really good place at the moment.
"My main goal is to outride my claim and I've got another 27 city winners to go before I come out of my time at the end of October.
"So to do that, I would probably need to win the premiership along the way and that is something I would obviously love to do."
(Photo: Tony Gollan with jockey Alannah Fancourt after My Girl Hayley win at Doomben November last year - Photo credit: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography)
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