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THE SUNDAY STORY: THE APPRENTICE. THE INCIDENT AT TRACKWORK AND THE LONG ROAD TO RECOVERY

By Darren Winningham | Sunday, June 24, 2018

Darren Winningham is not just passionate about horseracing as a sport, he is as fully involved and caring about the well being of the participants … human and animal … as any fan can be.

Winno looks to promote the game and all of the good people associated with it at every opportunity … but when some misfortune does befall one of his friends in the community he feels their burden and goes out of his way to make that setback just a little bit easier for those who have suffered a disappointment.

When young apprentice Sheriden Tomlinson, whose career was just starting to gain momentum, suffered a serious injury at trackwork on Thursday it affected Winno who wanted to do something to make the young man feel better.

So he … well, here's Winno's version of what happened next in HRO's first episode of 'The Sunday Story.'


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The curtain came down on the Brisbane Winter Carnival this weekend at Doomben with the running of the final Group 1 race of the 2017/18 season. The Tatt’s Tiara was sensationally won by the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Prompt Response. In the saddle was the man for the big races, Blake Shinn … who ended up riding a winning treble to take the honours on the day.

Meanwhile, WINNO was troubled at the races on Saturday. He was out of sorts. He had a recent setback in his own health but had rebounded and was doing well. However, a good friend of his – apprentice jockey Sheriden Tomlinson - had a mishap at trackwork early on Thursday, a mishap which landed him at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. WINNO was worried about him.

In the back of my mind I was waiting for that message to say “come in and see me after the races WINNO,"
but alas it never arrived. So, as you do, you take the bull by it’s horns. I set off to see the kid!

You see it was only ten weeks ago when I wrote about Sheriden debuting as an apprentice at the Noorama meeting – and you know what, the little fella rode a winning double on debut! So there is a connection there.

I find my way to the Orthopaedic Ward at the Royal. I used to work here so I know the sneaky ways in and out of this place. Lucky for me there is this young man lying in a single room – watching some television. I get a strange look. He actually thinks I am a doctor before he says, “Hi WINNO”.

I walk in and greet him with a handshake and a warm smile. He reciprocates, and we sit and mull over the events of the last few days.

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I start with … "What happened Sheriden?"

“Well mate I was on a two-year-old for my boss Les Ross, "answered Sheriden. "It's name is Defence Missile. It has had a couple of starts for a few placings. It is pretty quiet, I didn’t think it would play up.

“We were half way down the straight when the sirens and the lights started going off”. (That means there is a loose horse on the track for all you punters that have never been to the track early!)

“I think it shit itself and started running around a bit," continued Sheriden. "Suddenly it darted towards the inside fence and another track rider, well known to you WINNO, none other than the mighty mare herself Claire Farrow was coming up on the inside of me and screamed out to me “watch out."
.
"I straightened my horse up again … but I will give her a mention that I nearly took her out down the straight."

He just started running around WINNO. He had never done this before. With all the flashing lights and sirens and there were two other horses galloping behind us. I think it just set him off and he just reared up and lost balance and he went straight over and landed on me and just crushed me!"

WINNO says - "And here I am thinking that you just fell off mate."

“No WINNO it flipped on me," confirmed Sheriden."It did like a 180 or whatever you want to call it and landed straight on me."

So, I just had to ask – "With a degree of difficulty of 3.5 mate, what do you think the judges would have given you?

"Well it would have been a solid 10 out of 10 – I haven’t seen this happen before," was Sheriden's quick comeback.

Sheriden went on to describe the events as they unfolded further.

“I was on the ground rolling around – swearing and screaming it was probably the worst pain I have ever felt in my life!”

WINNO asks, “Is it like the pain you will be in on Sunday night when NSW beat QLD in Origin 2 mate?" To which he replies, “That won’t happen. Can you stop making me laugh. It actually hurts you bastard”.

Trainer Les Ross, Sheriden’s boss, raced onto the track to see what has happened to his star apprentice.

"I remember one of the doctors saying to Les, 'I think it could just be bruising'. To which Les said, “if it was bruising, he would not be rolling around and screaming. He is quite tough”.

Sheriden was happy with this.

“It was great that my boss stuck up for me”.

Full article

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Sheriden the strapper … with champion jockey Jeff Lloyd
Sheriden the strapper … with champion jockey Jeff Lloyd
Sheriden with his Maroons scarf
Sheriden with his Maroons scarf
Sheriden with his razor supplies


Photos: Darren Winningham</b
Sheriden with his razor supplies


Photos: Darren Winningham
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