Reith suffers spinal injury in race fall at Newcastle

Christian Reith
Jockey Christian Reith (Picture: Bradley Photos)

Top New South Wales jockey Christian Reith was dislodged when his mount Graphite Mist fell at around the 150m mark in the opening event at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday.

He was conscious after the fall and was transported to the John Hunter Hospital with a suspected shoulder injury.

It was advised by Racing NSW on Saturday evening that Reith had in fact sustained a fracture to his T4 vertebra and is awaiting specialist advice.

The three-year-old Capitalist filly was having her third race start, her second for Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer after starting her career in the Maher & Eustace stable.

She was travelling well on the Heavy 10 under Reith and was holding the lead into the straight when Mum’s The Boss loomed upon her inside.

The Kris Lees-trained Baltic Coast had gotten clear and had drawn up on the outside of the pair by the 200m when Mum’s The Word shifted out and interfered with Graphite Mist, who lost a length with the contact.

Eventual winner Baltic Coast had galloped ahead and was in the clear when, despite apprentice Madi Derrick’s efforts, Mum’s The Word shifted out abruptly again, appearing to knock Graphite Mist in the shoulder with the filly then losing her balance and falling.

Graphite Mist appears to have escaped any serious injury, with a postrace veterinary examination revealing a laceration to her near-fore pastern.
An inquiry into the fall has been adjourned to a date yet to be fixed.

Starting his career in Queensland in 1994, Reith has been riding in Sydney and New South Wales for some time. He spent time in Macau in the early part of his career and was also granted a contract to ride in Hong Kong during 2014.

While these days Reith mostly prefers to stick to the provincials and country meetings, he garners much respect riding in Sydney also.

Over his career, Reith has amassed 1,520 wins with an 11% winning strike rate. His first of four Group 1 successes came in the 2012 Coolmore Stud Stakes on Nechita and he also has six Group 2, 14 Group 3 and 33 Listed wins to his credit.

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