Craig Williams makes lowkey return at Sandown

Jockey Craig Williams has made a return to the saddle a little over four weeks since a fall at Flemington left him with a broken collarbone and ribs.

Williams rode at Sandown on Easter Monday and was the first of the jockeys injured in falls over three consecutive Saturdays to make it back to the track.

Jamie Kah is at home recovering from concussion. Ethan Brown is recovering from internal injuries including a lacerated kidney while Teo Nugent suffered a neck injury in his fall at Moonee Valley.

Also on the sidelines is Blaike Mcdougall with a neck injury incurred in a fall at Geelong last month.

“I was really excited to get ready and come to work,” Williams said.

“I haven’t been here for four weeks, and I couldn’t wait to come to Sandown today and do what I do, ride racehorses.

“I was lucky when I fell, the injuries weren’t as severe as they could have been. I broke a few bones. I had surgeons that put a lot of hard work into my body.

“I broke a clavicle and a couple of ribs, and when you can sneeze for the past two week now and not feel any discomfort, you know you’re going all right and I was overwhelmed by all the support from within the industry, my fellow riders and even from the general public.”

Williams said there was a lot of stages he needed to tick off before being able to ride again.

It meant he missed the winning rides on Mr Brightside in the All-Star Mile and Doncaster Mile.

“I’m competitive and would have loved to have been back for the All-Star Mile, but that wasn’t to be and then you come to the realisation of how grateful you are,” Williams said.

“My wife pointed out that I was sitting at home with the family for dinner when seven days earlier I was in hospital.

“It puts things into perspective.

“I was lucky. I fell off a horse and I’m back as there are other riders still recovering. We’re praying and thinking of them, but not just those guys as there are many other riders as well.”

Williams had two placings from his three rides on Monday and heads to Sydney on Saturday to partner Giga Kick in the Group 1 All-Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.

Williams guided Giga Kick to victory in The Everest (1200m) last spring.

“I’ve been in contact with Clayton Douglas and he’s really happy with the way the horse has come through the run and I’m really looking forward to being reunited with him on Saturday,” Williams said.

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