Trainer’s fall from a horse results in a fractured pelvis

Trainer Alan Mathews is weighing up some options after Candlelight Supper won her third staying race this preparation at Belmont Park today. Picture Anita McInnes

Anita McInnes

MUCHEA trainer Alan Mathews’ fall from an unraced horse resulted in an operation and a short stint in rehabilitation followed by another stay in hospital because it was thought he might have a tear in his bladder or maybe some cancer.

Mathews, who has won six Perth Cups, said the accident that put him in hospital was a fall from a horse that wasn’t even going fast.

“I just fell off a horse – it just stumbled and I fell off and landed flat on my back,’’ he said.

The horse was hardly out of a walk and when it tripped he sort of rolled off down its neck.

The fall in March was probably the least interesting he’s ever had but it left him with a fractured pelvis.

He went to hospital on a Monday and then during an operation on the Saturday surgeons put in a permanent plate across the front of his pelvis.

After staying in Royal Perth Hospital in the trauma ward for another week he then went to Bentley Hospital for rehabilitation for about 10 days before going home.

His stables quietened right down and he admits he briefly thought about quitting.

“But it’s a property and a business to run so it’s got to keep happening to make the wheels go around.

“I only had one girl working for me at the time and she decided to move on so my son Ashley is only working part time with his job now so he’s decided to come back and give us a hand so yeah that’s a great help.’’

He was back in hospital again recently as the doctors thought he might have had a tear on his bladder.

The Alan Mathews-trained Candlelight Supper won a 2200m handicap at Belmont Park today. Picture: Anita McInnes

“They did some tests and thought there was a slight chance it could have some cancer attached to it.”

Luckily the tear turned out to be nothing and a biopsy showed there was no cancer.

“But it was actually fortunate – it was something that if I hadn’t had the accident it would never have been looked at.’’

On Mathews’ first day back at the racetrack after his accident one of his gallopers Candlelight Supper won which no doubt gave him a great deal of satisfaction and since then the five-year-old mare has continued to impress.

Earlier this week Mathews said if she was to win her 2200m start today (September 16) that would mean she had won three staying races this preparation, which was a pretty good effort.

He said her main goal might be a Geraldton Cup or something similar but that would be after another spell.

“The Kalgoorlie Cup is coming up in the short-term but I think that is a bit too soon and a bit of a high-rated race to where she is at the minute.”

Staying races in the spring could be a possibility.

“Yeah it’s a thought and if that was the case there is time for her to have a short break.

“It’s an option to go the Perth Cup way but we haven’t even really thought of considering that but it would depend on what (happens today) and then when she has a break, how long a break she has and how well the horse does and all those sorts of things.

“She has very good wet track form so that’s why she’s sort of racing in the winter at the moment.”

“She seems to appreciate (wet tracks) or either she doesn’t appreciate the harder tracks during the summer.

“That’s another consideration you have to put into the perspective.”