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Jockey Jack Hill has delayed surgery for a shoulder injury to ensure he’s available to partner the Darren Weir-trained mare Scarlett Billows in Saturday’s 2016 Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm.
The $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) is the last Group 1 of the Australian racing season, and not even the risk of an infection developing has deterred Hill from getting a shot at the elite level.
Originally scheduled to have surgery this Wednesday for an injury sustained during a race fall, Hill has put the operation off until next Tuesday after Melbourne Cup winning horseman Weir called him in to replace the suspended John Allen.
“I’ve had to go see the surgeon to get the plate out of my collarbone,” Hill told Racing Victoria.
“When I had the fall, they put a plate in there and the skin is broken away, you can see the plate through the collarbone, it has to come out very, very soon.
“He wanted to take it out tomorrow (Wednesday) and I had to put him on the back foot, I’m pretty sure it comes out next Tuesday now.
“He said it looks like it is getting infected so it needs to come out as soon as possible.
“I couldn’t throw away a Group 1 ride for Darren Weir and the owners have been very good to me.”
Allen copped a careless riding charge from Hamilton on Sunday and misses the chance at a Tiara upset on Weir’s Street Boss five-year-old Scarlett Billows who he rode last Saturday for a fourth to Blueberry Hill in the Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m) at Ipswich.
Scarlett Billows is around $20 in Tattersall’s Tiara betting for this weekend as she shoots for her first win since a 1400m success at Caulfield back in mid-April.
She ran in two Group 1s after that but could only manage to finish 17th behind fellow Tiara hopeful Precious Gem in Adelaide’s Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) and eighth in the Doomben 10,000 (1350m).
Her Ipswich run was an improved effort then as she carried 59kg from barrier 11 of 13 and crossed under two and a half lengths away fourth to the Liam Birchley-trained winner Blueberry Hill who is also set for the seven day turnaround into the Tatt’s Tiara.
Hill has partnered the mare just once before for her successful debut in an Ararat maiden back in September of 2013, but is confident he can do a good job aboard her for Weir on the weekend.
“I rode her in her first start at Ararat, she bolted in and I don’t think I’ve sat on her since then,” he said.
“I haven’t had a good look at the race yet, I’ll do that later in the week but when Darren Weir asks you to ride in a Group 1 I don’t say no.”
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