Sammy Jo Bell back in the saddle

Highly-rated apprentice Sammy Jo Bell returned to gallops action on Monday morning for the first time in almost seven months.

Sammy Bell: Back in action for Richard Fahey on Monday morning.

The highly-rated apprentice had to spend several weeks in a wheelchair after undergoing a pelvic operation following a heavy fall at Carlisle last May.

Bell was unseated when Royal Duchess reared up and then fell on top of her on the way down to the start for a seven-furlong handicap.

Initial examinations suggested she had escaped serious injury, but it later transpired Bell required surgery.

She was delighted to be back at Richard Fahey's North Yorkshire base and is hoping to return to competitive action next month.

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"It's good to get going again. I think I rode eight (horses) this morning, so it was busy enough for my first day back," she said.

"I've been off for seven months, but it actually doesn't feel that long.

"I've been riding a pony at home, but today was my first time back on a racehorse since May.

"Everything felt good. My arms and legs are a bit like jelly and every horse seemed to be puling my arms out, but I think that's normal after so long off.

"I think I'll be a bit stiff and sore for a few days, but I feel good and it's great to be back riding."

She added: "My aim was to get back riding for the start of the year, so I'm delighted I've been able to do that.

"I want to get a few weeks riding out under my belt and hopefully I'll return to race-riding at the start of February or something like that."

Fahey said: "She's had a long time off and she's a grafter, so I'm sure she's pleased to be back riding out, but I don't have a clue when she'll be back race-riding. She'll obviously have to pass the doctor first and we'll see how she gets on."

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