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Twiston-Davies and Brooke raring to go on return

Sam Twiston-Davies returns from injury at Ffos Las on Wednesday aboard Southport
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Sam Twiston-Davies and Henry Brooke, who have trodden a difficult path since being sidelined within 24 hours of one another last month, return from injury on Wednesday.

Twiston-Davies, who will partner Southport for his father Nigel in the 2m4f handicap hurdle at Ffos Las, has been out with a spleen injury sustained at Chepstow on October 9. 

The 24-year-old had initially aimed to be back in the saddle for Cheltenham's Open meeting but was required to undergo a CT scan to ascertain the extent of his recovery.

Twiston-Davies had anticipated his boss, Paul Nicholls, would provide him with his comeback ride but neither Give Me A Copper nor The Eaglehaslanded were declared for the Ffos Las card.

"Paul didn’t run either of his two so I had a chat with Nige and Southport is one that seemed a good shout," said Twiston-Davies.

"It’s his first time in a handicap and hopefully he can run well. We thought we'd give him a go up in trip and he seems a straightforward ride. It’s nice to get back going again and hopefully I can pick up where I left off and pick up a few nice rides at the weekend."

Catch Sam Twiston-Davies on this week's Racing Postcast

One horse who will have kept Twiston-Davies going through a gruelling rehab regime at Oaksey House in Lambourn will have been The New One.

A dual Grade 1 winner over hurdles, The New One could make his chase debut at either Exeter on Friday or the Grade 1 Racing Post Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown on Saturday, where Supreme Novices' winner Altior could be among the opposition. 

"He schooled well last Thursday and was generally in good nick," said Twiston-Davies. "I am looking forward to getting back on him and having a go over fences."

Henry Brooke celebrates victory in the Betfred Becher Chase aboard Highland Lodge 12 months ago

Brooke was airlifted from Hexham on October 8 with eight fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. He was placed in an induced coma by doctors at Newcastle's Victoria Hospital. 

Again the Injured Jockeys Fund has played a big part in Brooke's rapid recovery thanks to the facilities and expertise at Jack Berry House in Middleham. 

Brooke will be aboard the Martin Todhunter-trained Sophie Olivia in the concluding bumper at Catterick and has the prospect of being reunited with Highland Lodge in defence of the pair's Betfred Becher Chase crown at Aintree on Saturday.


It was Iain Dowie who coined the phrase bouncebackability, describing his brave Crystal Palace troops at the time, but God only knows what word he would have come up with if he had have been hailing jockeys heroics instead.

Jockeys don't bounce back. They just keep on bouncing and, the harder they hit the ground, the higher the bounce.

MMA fighters would not be too keen about getting back into an octagon less than two months after bruising their spleen and kidneys, yet Sam Twiston-Davies is back on board Southport at Ffos Las just 51 days after his crashing fall at Chepstow. And it wasn't for a lack of begging that he has not been back sooner.

A punctured lung and broken ribs? The pain would be unbearable for most of us yet Henry Brooke is back from his horrific Hexham fall within two months as well. Warriors these boys are.

Brave Brooke returns in a bumper at Catterick but can't wait for another spin around the National course on Highland Lodge in the Becher Chase on Saturday.

I interviewed Bryan Cooper in 2014 after he has suffered the worst lower limb fracture Dr Adrian McGoldrick had ever seen following a fall from Clarcam in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham that year. I asked: “How bad was the pain?” The reply: “Nothing compared to the pain I felt when I realised [missed ride] Tiger Roll had won the Triumph.”

Missing rides and winners is the most excruciating feeling of all for jockeys. Today, Twiston-Davies and Brooke finally get some pain-relief.
David Jennings


He schooled well last Thursday and was generally in good nick. I am looking forward to getting back on him and having a go over fences
E.W. Terms