Colin Lennon Back in the Winners Circle: By Tony McMahon
Published 27 September 2022
It must have seemed all too surreal when rejuvenated jockey Colin Lennon 51, matter of factly brought Bittergreymagic back into the winner’s stall at Ferguson Park racecourse, Gladstone last Saturday.
Imagine the emotions of pride, elation and satisfaction Lennon was feeling knowing he was back where he belonged winning after being absent since having broken his neck in January, 2016.
“It’s a great feeling that’s for sure this win on a Bittergreymagic. This was just my 10th ride back and it takes a bit of adjusting when you have been out for so long. They go a lot faster around these country tracks and you have to get out and have your horse running”, Lennon explained.
That is especially a pre-requisite on the tight turning Gladstone track on which Colin was riding for the first time.
Making the win more enjoyable was that Bittergreymagic is trained by Rockhampton’s Alan Jones who has wholeheartedly supported him and helped entice the jockey to relocate to the city from Mackay.
“I was told by jockey Montana Philpot and others that there was a real shortage of track works riders and jockeys in Rocky so I decided to come down and base myself here.”, Lennon said.
Lennon had spent most of his jockeying career in Mackay where he was a regular in the winners’ circle throughout that district.
His previous winner came about on the Olivia Cairns trained Anzus at Charters Towers on December 12, 2015.
Just over a month later Colin sustained a broken neck when speared from a young horse he was educating at Townsville’s Cluden racecourse.
He was debilitated for years and underwent a constant and regimented rehabilitation program as well as wearing a neck brace for an extended period.
As is said “time is a great healer” so almost seven years down a long and rough track, Colin Lennon once again has reached his rightful destination – the winners’ stall.
“I was determined to come back but it had its moments. It’s all worthwhile now and I plan to stay in Rocky”, he said.
Colin rides in numerous barrier trials at Keppel Park racecourse at Yeppoon on Wednesday and then reapplies for his provincial jockey’s licence which lapsed after his Townsville accident.
In an industry where all too often the perils of jockeying are taken for granted, Colin Lennon typifies all things good about his profession.
I couldn’t help but thinking as I drove back from Gladstone last Saturday after calling the races there, that Lennon’s win was in keeping with the words of the 2002 song from Rush.
Titled “One Little Victory” it includes the words “the greatest act can be, one little victory”.
Earlier that afternoon for Lennon that was the case on Bittergreymagic who to him will always be his Sweetgreymagic.
With no racing scheduled for Capricornia this Saturday, he said he would more than likely travel to Mackay.
No not for the races there but “to see my grandkids”.
Picture: Back winning Colin Lennon on Bittergreymagic. Photo Credit: Caught In The Act Photography.