Maskiell gets back on the horse

HALL of Fame jockey Stephen Maskiell will make his overdue return to race riding at Elwick tomorrow.

Maskiell has been off the scene since being injured in a fall at Elwick on Melbourne Cup day in November.

In what appeared at first to be an innocuous fall, it was later discovered Maskiell had broken five ribs, and he has been sidelined until now.

He has decided to take a limited book of rides at Elwick, but they include top chances Geegees Blackflash in the Kevin Sharkie Tasmanian Stakes and Too Many Reds in the Winzenberg Handicap.

Maskiell has worked overtime to return to full fitness and he made the trip to Spreyton on Tuesday morning to ride in four of the five barrier trials.

During his absence from the track, Maskiell has also devoted some of his time to helping apprentices.

The time out of the saddle has proved costly for Maskiell as he missed out on the winning rides on Black 'N' Tough in the Newmarket Handicap and stablemate Rebel Bride in the Conquering WFA.

He is now hoping to make an impact in the summer racing carnival, which begins shortly.

Tomorrow's Tasmanian Stakes (1600metres) features a clash of Geegees Blackflash, The Cleaner and Black 'N' Tough, who are among the state's best performers.

Geegees Blackflash will be having his third run from a spell and after running over unsuitable distances is now out to something more his liking.

The Cleaner returned from a mixed Victorian campaign and ran a game race when beaten less than two lengths in the Newmarket Handicap at Mowbray.

He won the Tasmanian Stakes last year and Darren Gauci has decided to stick with him after his Newmarket effort.

Black 'N' Tough will be having her first attempt at 1600m with Brendon McCoull aboard.

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