Baster aiming for New Year's Day return

Stephen Baster is in trackwork mode but a race comeback has been put on hold for a week.

Baster was hoping to prove his fitness in time to ride Wind Shear in the Lord Stakes at Caulfield on Sunday but he will wait until New Year’s Day before returning.

He has been out of competitive action since he broke his foot in a Ballarat barrier mishap on October 21.

The accident happened when his mount Aphid reared and dislodged him into an adjoining stall.

“At first the X-rays showed no break but when he went back for scans the next day the fractures were found,” Baster’s manager Phillip Roost said.

The injuries put paid to his Cox Plate day and Melbourne Cup carnival aspirations.

Roost said Baster, who is the stable rider for Wadham Park trainer Dale Sutton, wasn’t ready to return for Caulfield’s Boxing Day meeting on Sunday.

The Sutton-trained Wind Shear, who will be one of the top chances in the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m), will be ridden by Jason Maskiell.

Maskiell won the Zouki Handicap (1420m) on Wind Shear at Flemington on December 11 at his first ride on the Flying Spur six-year-old.

Meanwhile, Lisa Cropp expects a medical appointment on Wednesday will confirm her return to race riding – possibly as soon as January 1.

Cropp will have more scans on a small hairline fracture behind her left ear, but she is confident of being cleared.

She has had ultra-sound treatment and has worn a neck brace since suffering the injury at her Cambridge farm in New Zealand on December 7.

A pony she was educating for her daughter fell and rolled on her.

Cropp had been in great form since basing herself in Melbourne last month, riding 16 winners including trebles at Sandown on November 27 and Kyneton on November 30 before the freak accident.

Cropp has been managed by John Nikolic since shifting to Melbourne.

Nikolic said he had been inundated by trainers wanting to know when she would be back in the saddle.