Hoop returns with best gift
INJURED Rockhampton jockey Adrian Coome has been presented with all the motivation he needs to succeed when making his race riding comeback later this month.
Coome, 20, has been out of action since late July after receiving serious facial and eye socket injuries after being dragged and kicked by a horse in a horrific incident during a barrier jump-out on the Callaghan Park sand track.
After hospitalisation, Adrian was sent home so his wounds could heal with doctors telling him he narrowly missed sustaining what could have been life threatening injuries.
At first it was a worrying time for Adrian and partner Peta Wright as she entered the final term of her pregnancy with the couple's first child.
However, it all came to a very happy ending just last Wednesday week when Peta delivered a healthy baby boy - Nate Thomas Coome.
“I doubt if Nate will make a jockey as he weighed in at seven pound and five ounces”, proud dad Adrian said yesterday.
Since bursting onto the race riding scene just over four years ago, Adrian estimates he has ridden over 300 winners, but none have given him the feeling of euphoria and pride comparable to the birth of his son.
“I'm still very excited. It is hard to say how I feel - I don't know what words to use to describe the feeling of happiness that the arrival of Nate has brought about,” doting dad Adrian said.
Adrian needn't have tried, as his eyes had already said it, so to speak.
Nate's arrival makes for a family of four, as Peta already has a daughter Metika, 7, living with them.
Racing fans will be delighted to hear that Adrian has been cleared to resume race riding from October 22.
“I've been back riding track work now for two weeks and I saw the doctor on Tuesday and he cleared me to ride in races again from October 22. I just can't wait to get going again,” the talented Coome said.
Adrian Coome really hit his straps during the early part of 2007 when his winning strike rate was recognised in the very top bracket throughout Australia.
During that halcyon year, Coome could virtually do no wrong.
He capped it by becoming only the third apprentice in over 40 years to ride a Rockhampton Newmarket winner which he did on George Osborne's Nediym's Image in June.
Like parenting, racing is a demanding master and before his recent lay-off Coome had been waging a constant battle against weight, which cost him dearly, not only in the hip pocket but also through lost opportunities.
Consequently, under such circumstances, a three-month enforced spell is far from ideal.
There can be no dropping his guard for Adrian in his battle against the bulge as he is far too talented a jockey to be race riding from the grandstand.