Robert Havlin confident of Flat season return after Kempton fall

Jockey anticipating six-week spell on the sidelines

  • Sunday 10 February
  • News
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Robert Havlin is confident he will be back in time for the start of the Flat season next month after breaking his collarbone and fracturing a rib in a fall at Kempton on Wednesday.

The 45-year-old was unshipped after Beehaar, his mount in the Move Over To Matchbook Handicap, sustained a fatal injury when clipping heels with Lieutenant Conde rounding a bend in the mile contest.

As a result of the incident, which left Havlin spending a night in St George’s Hospital in Tooting, Charlie Bennett, rider of Lieutenant Conde, was given a 12-day ban for careless riding.

Havlin said: “Charlie Bennett was on the rails and I was upsides him following the girl (Laura Coughlan) in front.

“She went three wide and then Charlie came out as he said David Probert slowed down in front of him.

“My filly did a somersault and then Stevie Donohoe’s horse (Gabrial The Giant) went over me as well.

“I knew I had done my collarbone and I thought I had also done my knee, which thankfully was just badly bruised.

“The whole side of my neck was numb when I was getting strapped to the board, but I was conscious the whole time.

“I got to hospital and had the CT scan and when it said I broke my collarbone and it was nothing to do with my back and spine, I was relieved.

“Charlie rang me in hospital that night in bits about it. It is one of those things and the clock can’t be turned back now.

“I’ve never broken a rib in my life and everyone who has says it is the worst pain, and I can vouch for that.

“I didn’t feel out of breath, but I was also told that part of my right lung was bruised and partially collapsed, but that would just go back to normal by itself.

“I should be back in six weeks and I’m confident I will be back for the start of the Flat season.

“I’m going to see a specialist in Cambridge on Monday to see if I need an operation on the collarbone, but that shouldn’t make any difference regarding the timescale of things.”

Since sustaining the injury Havlin, who recorded his best yearly total in 2018 after riding 127 domestic winners, has received plenty of support from those closest to him to help keep his spirits up.

He added: “I’ve been well looked after by the wife and John (Gosden) has not been off the phone since the injury.

“It is good to know you have that support from John, who is not just my boss but a good friend, while Barry O’Dowd and Gary Rothwell came up from the yard and saw me last night for a couple of hours.

“Paul Struthers (chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association) and Henry Spiller (trainer) both came to hospital with me and they were great.

“All things considered with the equine flu, generally February is a quiet time to be off. I am very lucky though, as it could have been a lot worse and been my neck or spine.”

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