A "galloping massage" may be considered good preparation for a day's
work by leading jockey Shane Dye, but the only thing which has been on Dye's
back lately are horses.
The rider suffered a heavy fall when coming to grief on Jaboulet at
Rosehill last Saturday. But his athletic qualities became evident when he
bounced up and decided to ride the rest of the day.
On Sunday morning, however, Dye woke up with back and shoulder pains and
realised his heavy tumble had taken its toll.
Dye has a health club, and normal treatment there involves masseurs
grasping hold of bars in the roof and jogging on a customer's back. But he had
to settle for more gentle handling.
Dye, 24, has had 10 falls in his career, including three in Australia.
"I've never been seriously injured, touch wood," he said.
"I was the second to go down in an eight-horse fall in New Zealand one
day," he recalled.
"I remember launching myself in the air to clear the one that fell first.
I managed to do that and felt relieved, forgetting about the six behind me. Next
thing I woke up in hospital.
"I laugh about that day now, but it can knock your confidence."
Dye's massage will allow him to continue his attempt to thwart the
challenge of Darren Beadman for the Sydney jockeys' premiership.
He is on 86 wins, still three ahead of Beadman, with nine metropolitan
meetings to go. He has a full book of rides today.
"It only takes one day for him to catch me, that's why I can't afford to
lose a day of riding," Dye said.
Two years ago, on the last day of the season, Dye was in front by two from
Mick Dittman, who managed to ride a treble and snatch victory to become premier
"I can't let that happen again," Dye said.
At Canterbury today it will be Cronulla football day, another incentive to
perform for Dye, who is a mad-keen Sharks supporter.