Jockey Roberts may have to quit saddle

 

Former champion jockey Michael Roberts may be forced to retire from race-riding, it emerged today.

He will find out from a neurosurgeon in March whether the crushed vertebra he sustained in a fall at Wolverhampton last September has ended a career that has yielded just short of 4,000 victories worldwide.

The South African, who has not ridden since the fall, told the Racing Post: "I'll be guided by the doctors and whatever they say or advise I'll follow - I'd be stupid not to.

"The neurosurgeon told me he wanted to see me again around March to take another MRI scan and see how the injury has healed. He'll advise me as to whether I can carry on.

"He told me I was very close to being in a wheelchair so I'm certainly not going to take any chances.

"Hopefully I still have a few years left in me. But I've had a great career so I have to respect what the medical people tell me.

Roberts, 47, was champion jockey in South Africa 11 times before moving in 1986 to Britain, where he took the title in 1992 with 206 winners.

PA