Double delight for Kiama jockey 

HORSE RACING

Not even the loss of his long-time manager and a bizarre touch football injury can slow the comeback of Kiama jockey Scott Pollard, who has raised the prospect of Gwenda Markwell launching him into premiership contention.

Casting aside a horror 12 months that have been plagued by injury and illness, to the rider and family alike, Pollard's return gathered steam after he booted home Markwell's Totally Devoted and Alesteem at Kembla Grange on Saturday.

Now he has his sights set on launching an outside bid for premiership honours at Kembla - with the help of Markwell's suddenly firing team.

"I'm just starting to get going and feeling good riding, and Gwenda's team is just starting to fire again at the same time," Pollard said, who had a double hip replacement while sitting out a year with a badly fractured wrist.

"Without her support I would be in a lot of trouble. I won the premiership here my first year out of my apprenticeship and I would like to win it again."

Pollard only just returned in time to chalk up a winning double aboard a couple of Markwell's speedy team, sitting out a week of trackwork due to a knee injury sustained playing touch football.

He's also had to cope with a split from long-time manager Rob Tweedie, who has taken on the role of secretary at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club.

Pollard said it almost cost him the ride on Totally Devoted, owned by a syndicate of Illawarra Turf Club (ITC) members.

"I was actually supposed to ride it last start," he said.

"Nowra was my first meeting without a manager and I just panicked taking rides prematurely, and I didn't realise it was going to be in. It nearly won and I was lucky to get back on it in the end."

Totally Devoted's efforts thrilled many, the filly the latest in a long line of ITC-syndicated horses to salute.

The club's racing manager, Michael Craig, said flagship galloper Darci Be Good and Super Sally were also part of the recent success story.

"Just with that one horse 40 or 50 people came to the races to watch it [on Saturday]," he said.

"We've had three horses since the 8th of November which have won."

Craig paid tribute to member Bernie Dean, who has raced horses through the club without luck previously.

On Totally Devoted, Pollard said: "Her best asset at the moment is so she's green, but she begins out of the gates very quick and she's got an electric turn of foot.

"She can be wherever she needs to be in a race, accelerate when she needs to and it's going to be a matter of getting her over the right distance."

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