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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Thornton set to return from injury on same horse he achieved milestone on

Andrew Thornton: has had three operations on his knee
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Andrew Thornton returns to the racecourse after injury on Tuesday nearly ten months after reaching 1,000 winners - and he is set to ride the same horse on whom he achieved the landmark figure on.

Thornton, 44, has been sidelined since hitting the milestone on Boxing Day due to a knee injury he sustained following his victory on Kentford Myth at Wincanton.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning rider received the all-clear to return to action this month after a third operation on his knee, and will partner Kentford Myth in a 2m4f mares' handicap hurdle at Worcester for trainer Seamus Mullins.

"I'd love to say we've been thinking about this and planning it for a long time but it's just happened like that," said Thornton on Sunday. "It's great to be riding for Seamus, who has been very good to me, and owner Ian Bare, who's a very supportive owner."

Despite a prolonged recovery, which involved surgery to reconstruct the rider's anterior cruciate ligament and more than 150 trips to Jack Berry House, Thornton always had his sights set on returning to the saddle.

He said: "Some people were wondering after I'd got to 1,000 winners whether that would be it for me. But as I said to my good lady wife Yvonne, how could I get to 1,000 winners, which would be the best day of my professional life, and then retire, which would be the worst, all in one?

"I think when you're trying to get back to full fitness you need to have a goal, and I've always wanted to come back to riding."

He added: "I've put a lot of hard work and graft in. I've had a few setbacks along the way, but that's part of a jump jockey's life. I'm ready to go and looking forward to it."

I think when you are trying to get back to full fitness you need to have a goal and I've always wanted to come back to riding
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