George Baker talks about getting back in saddle as he returns to racecourse

Sun 11 Jun 2017

Watch David Fitzgerald's interview with George Baker at Goodwood on Sunday and read about the jockey's hopes of one day returning to riding

By Andy Stephens

George Baker was back on a racecourse at Goodwood on Sunday for the first time since his horror fall at St Moritz in February.

The Classic-winning jockey admitted to being still slightly wobbly on his feet but spoke of his desire to one day return to the saddle.

“As it stands I’m not allowed to drive for a year, so I won’t be able to do anything for that period of time,” Baker said. “It’s obviously something I’d like to do [race again] but I’m not sure what is medically possible at the moment. We’ll have to see what happens.”

Baker is among the tallest jockeys on the Flat but is renowned for his graceful style. He has ridden 1,364 winners in Britain and steered Harbour Law to victory in the St Leger at Doncaster last season.

He was placed in an induced coma after being brought down on the Jamie Osborne-trained Boomerang Bob on St Moritz's famous track consisting of snow and ice.

The 34-year-old suffered some bleeding in the brain and spent several days in intensive care.

He was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Wellington Hospital in London a couple of weeks later.

His rehabilitation took anoher step in the right direction with his visit to Goodwood, courtesy of a lift from trainer Ed Walker.

“The recovery is going very well; as well as can be  expected,” he said. “I’m sort of getting there and making progress.

“I’ve been very lucky with my career. [The accident was] one of those things. These things happen and you have to deal with them when they come long.”

Baker’s weighing-room colleagues were delighted to see him and he said he had been monitoring their exploits.

“I love horse racing. I’ve kept an eye on it and everyone I’ve dealt with in the past has kept me in the loop," he said. "I’ve been going through a bad period but racing has been very kind to me.

“I wanted to come here today and see how I get on - take me out of my comfort zone.”

Baker hopes to also attend Royal Ascot for a day.

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