A SECRET bid to end 18 years in jumps racing exile has hit an insurmountable hurdle for four-time winning Grand Annual Steeplechase jockey David “Butch” Londregan.
Nanjing Night Net

Londregan, who has shed more than 10 kilograms in recent months as he attempted a low-key return to racing, had set his sights on an extraordinary comeback in May’s Grand Annual.

But at 54 years of age and after almost two decades out of the saddle, Londregan revealed his grand plan had been scuppered by medicos.

The Camperdown-based trainer revealed exclusively to The Standard his dream return was over before it took flight after he failed to get a medical clearance.

“The doctors would not give me a clearance for a comeback,” he said

“My lower back is buggered. The doctors knocked back the clearance on health and safety grounds.

“I’ve got my weight down to 60 kilograms. It’s the lightest I’ve been in years. I wanted to get my flat jockeys’ ticket first and then ride in the 10 hurdle trials to get my jumps jockeys’ licence again.”

Londregan, who tasted success in the Grand Annual on Thackeray (1979 and 1980) Kaimoto (1981) and Brigade (1985), said he was disappointed.

“I was making a real serious attempt at riding in the Grand Annual again,” he said.

“I’ve won it four times and would have loved to win it five times as a jockey.

“Now the doctors have knocked back my clearance, I’ll have to concentrate on getting one of my five horses into the race. I would love to win the Grand Annual as a trainer.”

Meanwhile, boom Warrnambool apprentice jockey Jackie Beriman will return to riding at Horsham on Sunday after an eight-day break from the saddle.

Beriman has ridden 35 winners and had her apprentice claim reduced to two kilograms since she began riding in November.

The 17-year-old apprentice decided to have a break to visit her sick nanna, who is in a West Australian hospital.

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