CONCERN: Grafton trainer Dwayne Schmidt (centre) charges down the track to check on jockey, and future son-in-law, Ben Looker after a race fall on Ramornie Handicap Day at Grafton.
CONCERN: Grafton trainer Dwayne Schmidt (centre) charges down the track to check on jockey, and future son-in-law, Ben Looker after a race fall on Ramornie Handicap Day at Grafton. Graham Mackie

Jockey survives horror race fall at Grafton

RACING: Injured jockey Ben Looker is expected to be released from hospital this afternoon after he was kept at Grafton Base overnight for observation.

Looker was involved in a horror race fall at the Clarence River Jockey Club on Ramornie Handicap Day which also involved jockeys Jake Hull and Josh Adams.

Adams and Hull were also transported to Grafton Base Hospital by ambulance after the fall but were released the same afternoon.

According to NRRA chief steward Mark Holloway, Looker suffered concussion-like symptoms and had complained of an acute pain in his upper thigh.

Looker's former trainer mentor John Shelton, who watched the fall from the parade ring, said he spoke to the jockey this morning.

"He's doing pretty well considering the fall," Shelton said.

"He just said 'every time I move I find a sore spot'. He got a couple of stitches, but he is in pretty good spirits but just disappointed he had to miss out on a couple of nice rides."

Looker was booked to ride Shelton's Belflyer in the $160,000 GDSC Ramornie Handicap, but was forced to give up the ride, with Bobby El-Issa eventually piloting the gelding to a second-placed finish behind Havasay.

It was something Looker and his mentor had come to terms with immediately after the race fall.

"I am just glad he is still here with us and he has no serious career-ending injuries," Shelton said. "I was scared for him. I ran up to him laying on the track, but I was pleased he recognised me. He just said 'Rambo, I don't think I can ride in the Ramornie for you'.

"That was the least of my worries. It could have been much worse for Benny."



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