YOUNG Maitland driver Dan Morgan was keen to get back to racing despite a frightening fall and concussion eight months after returning from two brain surgeries.
The 20-year-old, driving filly Dreaming Big, landed heavily after catapulted high in the air in an accident on the first turn in race six at Maitland on Sunday night.
Dreaming Big, trained by Morgan’s father, Paul, was on the fence at the rear of the field when the pacer in front galloped. It prompted Morgan’s horse to also gallop and fall back, leading to her gig locking wheels with an outside runner’s, which in turn caused her to fall on her front legs and sling the gig and Morgan forward.
Dreaming Big escaped with scratches to her knee, nose and hip and Morgan was left concussed and motionless on the track with gravel in his mouth momentarily, prompting stewards to abandon the race.
Morgan, a sheetmetal worker, was resting at home on Monday thankful the accident was not worse.
“I was concussed a bit, but apart from that I was all right. Just a bit of a sore hip,” Morgan said. “I was pretty lucky.”
Concerns for Morgan were heightened given he returned to racing in March this year from surgeries to release pressure on his brain following a fall in June 2015.
Morgan continued to drive after the fall last year following what was thought to be only a minor head knock. However, continued headaches prompted scans five months later which revealed a congealed bleed.
He returned with a winner on his first night back to racing in March and his most recent success came on Saturday night at Newcastle when he steered Sweet Ava to victory for his father.
He was not taken to hospital on Sunday night after recovering well from the knock but his family continued to keep a close watch on him on Monday.
“It’s pretty good," Morgan said of his head. “Obviously that was going to be one of the main concerns, but at least it’s all right. That’s one of the good things.”
The fall at Maitland followed another lucky escape at Newcastle on October 26 in which he walked away from a three-driver spill.
“I had a good run when I came back, but the last couple of weeks, I had a fall at Newcastle the other week, then again last night, so I’ve had some bad luck,” he said.
Asked if the accidents had deterred him from driving again, he said: “No, not really.”
Morgan’s mother, Sue, said she would seek advise from a specialist on Monday.
The crash overshadowed a treble for Josh Osborn, who drove Captain Rockey, Borninastorm and Misanthrope to victory. Maitland race again on December 11.