Hip surgery means two months out for NZ champion jockey Lisa Allpress

Horse Racing Lisa Allpress jockey
Lisa Allpress: four-time champion has hip-replacement surgery next month. Photo: Trish Dunell

By NZ Racing Desk

New Zealand: Lisa Allpress has ruled herself out of the race to add a fifth premiership title to her record next season as she will undergo hip-replacement surgery following the end of the 2019-20 season at the weekend.

The Whanganui jockey goes into Friday’s meeting at Awapuni with 95 wins to her credit for the season, 17 clear of nearest rival, apprentice Kozzi Asano. That will give her a fourth national jockeys’ premiership title after earlier wins in 2011-12, 2015-16 and last season.

“It wasn’t on my radar at the start of the season,” Allpress said. “I just wanted to go out and support the people who have supported me from the start. I got some winners under my belt and as the season progressed I got into the top three and from February I started getting serious about giving it my best shot.”

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However, Allpress’s ongoing work commitments will soon come to a halt with the jockey set to be sidelined for at least two months after she undergoes hip replacement surgery next month.

“I’ll be having surgery on August 23 for a hip replacement on my right side,” she explained. “That will keep me out for a couple of months but I’ll be back and pain-free hopefully.

“The pain has been quite bad and restrictive. I certainly haven’t been feeling the greatest riding at some meetings.

“So I definitely won’t be winning another premiership next season but who knows after that? I’m not ready to finish yet.”

Allpress’s tally is the lowest premiership winning since Garry Phillips won the title with 87 wins in the 1979-80 season, though the lost months when racing was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic were the main factor in preventing her from adding to her six centuries in previous seasons.

“It would have been nice to get to 100 wins again but I’m not worried about that.” she said. “I’m just happy to be back at work and seeing racing back up and running again.”

Among Allpress’s highlights this term has been the opportunity to ride for the first time in Saudi Arabia and becoming the first woman in the world to win a race there.

“That was definitely something I’m very proud of,” she said. “It was an amazing experience and to do it riding alongside some of the world’s best jockeys was something I’ll never forget.”

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