Injured jockey Michael Coleman doesn't want to confirm what his heart already knows. But it will be a miracle if the popular 50-year-old rides in races again.
Coleman is in Waikato Hospital's high dependency unit after a horse he was riding rolled backwards on to him at the Rotorua trials on Tuesday.
That left him with three fractures in his pelvis and a broken femur, with the thigh bone also having some bone fragmentation.
Coleman had an operation on the leg on Wednesday night but now has to wait for surgery on his pelvis.
"It is not great obviously but I am not in too much pain," Coleman told the Herald yesterday.
"But I realise these injuries will not be easy to come back from, especially at my age.
"I am not thinking about the future too much, I just want to get the operations out of the way, so I am not making any final decision on my career right now. But yes, it would be a long road back."
Coleman is one of New Zealand's most successful jockeys, with 2130 domestic wins and the staggering record of having ridden at least one Group 1 winner a season for the last 20 years.
Sadly that stellar career may now be over for the man universally known in racing as The King.
The last winner he may ride, Vainglory, is favoured to make it back-to-back victories when thoroughbred racing returns to Te Rapa tomorrow.
The meeting has drawn huge fields with 12 races and plenty of horses missing a start — good signs for the sustainability of comeback racing, especially as bigger fields greatly aid turnover.
Vainglory was strong to the line winning under Coleman at Pukekohe two weeks ago and with some newcomers in the race she is not badly weighted.
New jockey Sam Weatherley does face barrier 14, to start from about 11 after scratchings, which can be tricky over 2000m at Te Rapa, but whether racing back and/or wide is a good or bad thing will depend on the track late in the day after having had plenty of hooves pound into it.
But Vainglory will have race fitness on her side and she has won on soft tracks, which is what tomorrow's surface is likely to be.
She opened $4.50 with the TAB but was quickly backed into $3.60, with Sweet Treat one of her logical dangers after she was a brave third under a monster weight at Pukekohe but looks better placed tomorrow.
Tomorrow sees a return to the first almost normal post-lockdown Saturday of racing with a thoroughbred meeting also at Awapuni.
On the harness racing front, there is racing at Addington tonight where William Wallace (race three, 6.21pm) looks the bet of the night.