Daryl will be back, declares brother

GLENN Douglas says the serious facial injuries suffered by Bendigo harness driver Daryl Douglas on Boxing Day won’t deter his brother from returning to the sulky once he has recovered. 

Daryl Douglas was yesterday preparing for facial surgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital after a horrific fall at Ballarat on Wednesday night.

“From the reports I’ve got at the moment, it looks like he has broken both eye sockets and both cheekbones,” Glenn said yesterday.

“He was transferred to the Royal Melbourne this morning at 4am and they are now just waiting for a bed, so they can operate on him.”

As well as the broken eye sockets and cheekbones, Daryl also suffered a broken jaw in the fall.

Daryl – one of the country’s leading harness drivers – fell in race five, the Wendouree Wholesalers Pace (1710m), while aboard On The Lure, trained by Glenn.

“The horse inside him galloped and came out sidewards and put its foot under his wheel, which in turn flipped Daryl out and into the path of an oncoming horse,” said Glenn, who took the On The Lure drive when the race was restarted 30 minutes later.

“We’re not really sure if he was stood on or he just happened to be looking that way when the horse’s knee came through and he copped it square in the face.

“But if you can imagine the force of a horse’s foot coming through and getting you square in the face, that is what happened and that looks to be the blow that has caused all the damage. 

“We don’t think it was the fall... he looked to be totally conscious when he fell, it was when the horse got him. It’s not good, but it could be worse.

“Unfortunately, you risk something like this every time you go out there, and Daryl, more than anybody, understands this because he goes around so many times more than anybody else.

“But with a few plates and screws and a bit of wire, they will put him back together.”

Daryl – who has driven more than 3500 winners during his career – is likely to spend up to three months sidelined while recovering.

“This is certainly the most significant injury he has faced, but he’s had enough falls to know that you get up and battle on... that’s the type of bloke he is,” Glenn said.

“Daryl is not one to say too much, but for him to say he was ‘no good’ when I was talking to him earlier, that shows how much he is hurting and is banged up.

“But he’ll certainly be back racing again... this is just a little bump in the road for him.”

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