Bowditch working to get back to riding

Craig Brennan
Jockey Joe Bowditch is nearing a return from injury which kept him out of the spring carnival

Joe Bowditch is getting closer to a return to race riding after spending the past two weeks at track work at Caulfield.

Bowditch has been sidelined since July after a four-horse fall at Sale left him with multiple injuries, including one likened to those suffered by footballers.

The jockey suffered a fractured right scapula, fractured left collarbone, a stable fracture of the C7 vertebra in the neck and a sternoclavicular sprain where the collarbone joins the sternum.

Bowditch said Racing Victoria doctor Gary Zimmerman told him the sternoclavicular sprain was something he had seen in his other role with AFL club Western Bulldogs.

"There was a fair bit of trauma and he said it takes a pretty hard hit to do it," Bowditch said.

"He said it's often more painful than the actual fracture, and he was spot-on."

Bowditch began his quest to get back to full fitness a fortnight ago and hopes to make a low-key return to racing at Echuca on December 4.

He is up to riding six horses a morning.

"I was pretty sore the first morning and couldn't even sit down," Bowditch said.

"I've been slowly building the fitness, all the muscles are working properly now and I'm up to riding six a morning.

"Now I've got to get the weight down.

"I got up to 63 kilos but I'm back to 60-1/2 without having to do too much and I'd be comfortable around 56 as that way I can ride 54 pretty easily."

While the spring carnival is not the ideal time to be sidelined, the injury let former the Adelaide-based Bowditch spend more time with his 18-month old son.

"In the past I would have been chomping at the bit to get back," Bowditch said.

"In Victoria we're riding, five, six, seven days a week.

"It was a bit different in South Australia riding two meetings a week and I would have got to see plenty of him, so it's been good spending that time with him now."