Palmerston North apprentice jockey Holly Andrew buried the demons that have haunted her for almost 12 months when she piloted On Show to an all the way win in the 1000m two-year-old race at Trentham last Saturday.
The 28-year-old’s victory came one week short of a year from the day she was badly injured in a race fall during the Group 3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) on the same track.
She suffered a broken and badly damaged shoulder as well as severe rib injuries when Bronsteel clipped heels and fell 400m from the finish of the 1600m feature.
Courage and determination is something Andrew has in spades and, after numerous operations and months of rehabilitation, she finally resumed race-riding a fortnight ago.
She recorded a third aboard Likageesix at Awapuni on March 1 and followed that up with minor placings on Tennessee Rose, Royal Inn and Lady Verawood at Otaki last Friday. But to finally get another riding success aboard On Show last Saturday was like a dream come true for the hard working apprentice.
“It’s good to be back,” a beaming Andrew said after dismounting from On Show.
“There have definitely been some lows but today showed there are highs too.
“It’s been hard work. I’ve had to work on my weight because I’m not a natural lightweight and just trying to get connections, and get rides back, has probably been the hardest part.”
Andrew has suffered numerous broken bones in falls, but her most serious injuries were the result of a car accident in 2013. She broke both femurs, smashed both knees and her left ankle and right foot were broken. The muscles and fat were pulled off her lower left calf and she had 20 stitches in a head wound.
On Show is prepared by Hastings trainer John Bary who has been one of Andrew’s greatest supporters so she was delighted her comeback win was on one of his horses.
On Show was making her race debut in the 1000m event but had impressed when winning a 750m jumpout at Hastings in January and then finished second in an 850m Foxton trial on February 12.
Andrew bounced the Showcasing filly out quickly from the barrier to take an early lead and they were never headed, crossing the line a length clear of Curve, with third placed Regal Reward another 3 lengths back.
Bary said the stable has always had a lot of time for On Show, saying she had shown a lot of speed in jumpouts and in her barrier trial. He was also pleased with the way she handled the slow-7 track conditions on Saturday.
On Show was a $75,000 purchase from last November’s Ready To Run sale and Bary and racing manager Mike Sanders then set up a syndicate to race the filly.
“It’s a big syndicate and most of them are here on track today,” Bary said.
He added that On Show will now go out for a spell and be brought back for early three-year-old races in the new season.
Senior racing followers will recall another horse by the name of On Show racing in the 1970s. He was a top class galloper owned and trained by his Wairoa breeder Arthur Kent and, in later years, was prepared at Hastings by Marlene Todd.