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Deane Lester

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    Posted: 21 Jun 2022 at 6:52pm
 I never knew why he's in a wheelchair, born with spina bifida explains all. What an incredible man Clap Thanks to LGHR.

PUNTERS FACE LITTLE WAIT FOR RETURN OF FAVORITE TIPSTER 

PUNTERS are really missing their favorite Victorian tipster Dean Lester and it might be the start of the Spring Carnival before he returns.

The respected form analyst has start rehab in Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital after undergoing serious back surgery.

“I’ve been battered around a bit but we’re still standing which might not have been the case a couple of weeks ago. It’s been a pretty tumultuous time,” Lester told RSN Central’s host Gareth Hall.

Lester required surgery due to the deteriorating condition of his vertebrae between the T8 and T9. “The disc between them was totally gone so what they did was virtually put metalwork above the T8 and went down below the T12 or T13 to support it,” Lester said.

RSN.com reports that the surgery, whilst successful, impacted Lester who was born with spina bifida and requires dialysis four times a week due to failing kidney function.

“It was a predicted four-hour surgery and as I’ve had it retold to me, as I went under sedation, I started to have a few bad reactions and it ended up taking nearly eight hours,” Lester said. Because of the length, not so much the surgery, but the post recovery went into a different phase and I was put in an induced coma for two and a half days.”

The strength of the medication given to Lester during the operation added days to his post-surgery recovery and he experienced forms of delusion in the wake of the surgery. “It took almost five days to become lucid,” Lester said. “It’s been a massive strain on my support crew and of course that is led by my partner Leanne, I’ve put her through a lot of grief and lent on her the hardest. She’s coped like an absolute trooper and the star that she is.”

Lester is optimistic he will return to provide followers with betting advice from the start of the upcoming Melbourne Spring Carnival, although his health remains a firm priority.

“We’ve got a bit of work to do but I’ll be looking after myself and really giving myself a fair crack over the next couple of months,” Lester said. “It’s a different challenge ahead but I’m in the best of care. There’s a good chance that when I get out of hospital that I’ll be stronger and in lot less pain than when I came in. I’ll be back for the spring. I’ll hopefully be a Group 1 performer on Memsie Stakes day.”

Punters are struggling to find a replacement tipster to follow on the Victorian races in the absence of Lester. Last Saturday’s meeting at Flemington was a classic example. His main rival, SKY’s leading man, David Gately, didn’t manage one winner in his top selections on the nine-race card. Mark Hunter, who stepped into the top chair at RSN, saved his best for last declaring Zac De Boss an E/W special but the rest of the day was a bit of a disaster.



Edited by Gay3 - 21 Jun 2022 at 7:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote horlicks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2022 at 8:53pm
Interview recording here (currently bottom of page)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote spinner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2022 at 10:09am
get well soon Dean. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Shawy38 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2022 at 10:37am
You couldn't meet a nicer bloke, met him at the races one day with Lindsey Smith. Get well soon Deano.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2022 at 9:57am
Deane Lester: Bed ridden for 14 months, "Deano's" inspiring story laid bare
Bruce Clarke

Deane Lester's Twitter handle is Defier1.

OK, no blue tick (doesn't need it or wouldn't want it), but some not too shabby 28,000 followers and yes it suits, and perhaps subtlety sums up Australia's most respected wagering investment adviser, or if you wanted to be cheap and a touch tacky, you could go with tipster.

But the much loved "Deano" is of course far more than just another racing media urger.

"Look at me" has never been part of the Lester persona and if you wanted to join a group that had a harsh word to say about him, first find one of those old telephone booths if you can, have your meeting and a good look at yourselves and then please lock the door (from the inside).

Like Lester, Defier, the Guy Walter-trained galloper of the early millennium, gave his best at the top level but was rarely in the spotlight. That was normally held by Lonhro, but Defier did win a George Main Stakes (beating Sunline), and a Doomben Cup at Group 1 level, was placed in two Cox Plates (behind Northerly and Fields of Omagh), but did have Lonhro's scalp in a then Group 2 Warwick Stakes.

Happy 67th Birthday @bmracingclub! ????

Famously called his own horse Fields of Omagh to multiple @CoxPlate victories! #Legendarypic.twitter.com/YFLdqZ3Yoy

— Moonee Valley Racing Club (@TheValley) April 7, 2017

"I don't know, Guy was just one of my favourite people in racing, a gentleman and I latched on to Defier and just loved him and his honesty. I suppose it suits me, I've been a ‘defier' over the years, especially the medicos," Lester said, from his rehab ward in a Caulfield hospital.

And by the way, if it wasn't to be Defier, Lester would have gone with Shaftesbury Avenue, pointing to his 1991 portfolio of Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap wins to a Japan Cup placing.

But it was to some little pleasant surprise to hear that well measured, well known and humbly friendly voice, come out of the radio at RSN on Saturday morning as if he had never been away. But he has been and for a very good reason but even when he was away, he was still there and sometimes here.

Let me try and explain.

Lester has been off the airways since May 22. And with a good excuse note from his doctor – the not too trifling matter of a four-hour operation that turned into eight hours on his T8 and T9 vertebrae on an already troublesome spine saw to that and the pictures can give you some idea of the detail. That was June 7.

Lester is counting the days now to be finished with Rehab and finally getting to move into his new home at Botanic Ridge in Cranbourne with his partner Leanne. He quips it's close enough to his mate Robbie Griffiths and "Cuzzy Bro" Michael Walker, but also far enough away, if you know what I mean. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) finally approved their bathroom last week.

But this latest serious surgery followed another stint of health induced issues that could convince that he donate his body to science fiction, not science, when the judge puts his number in the frame.

Lester, such a familiar figure around the mounting yard at Melbourne metropolitan race meetings, quite remarkably hasn't been to the track since Jamie Kah scored her first Group 1 win on Harlem in the 2019 Australian Cup.

But you still heard him on Melbourne radio, or Channel 7 race day coverage or a regular stint in Perth media while his tipping service subscribers got their regular service every Saturday. Like he wasn't away.

And he did get a shout out from his prodigy jockey Jye McNeil, who he was instrumental in getting the ride and helping with instructions to win the 2020 Melbourne Cup on Twilight Payment.

#MelbourneCup winning jockey @JyeMcNeil explains the influence Gerald Egan and Deane Lester have had on his career, how he secured the ride on Twilight Payment and what's next on the agenda. #AfterTheLastpic.twitter.com/VxxQOj1n1n

— Racing.com (@Racing) November 4, 2020

It wasn't just Covid that had kept Lester away. For 14 months, from February 18, 2020, he knows the dates precisely, until Anzac Day last year, he was restricted to his bed but lying on his left side, supported only by a wall of pillows and a passion for his work. All because of a pressure sore.

And not just any pressure sore, obviously.

"I went in for a clean-up and a scrub which is fairly standard but saw in their faces that this was something worse, they found a 12cm hole in my thigh. My doctor was Andrew Fuller, the head of infectious diseases and he said we want to do this properly, the alternative is that you die."

The good news, there was some, is that Dr Fuller knew the pandemic would cause the lockdown and got Lester home to start his public hibernation while a round of nine surgeries was required to fill the wound with healthy tissue, or if you want your own research, google hyper granulation.

So, every word you heard from Lester over that period when you thought life was normal, was him confined to bed, unable to roll to his right side.

"It wasn't much fun, I had an air bed and a pile of pillows" says a matter of fact Lester, but typically without the hint of a "why me" or any navel gazing.

"But I was able to work, I had a hospital table set up for radio beside the bed, which probably kept me as sane as I could over that period of time. I remember Annie Kearney (Channel 10) interviewing me via zoom after the Cup because of what Jye had said, and we had to set the computer up in a certain why to make the shot work."

But he has needed the full media silence since May to recover from the recent spine surgery. It followed a diagnosis in December of further deterioration of his troubled spine, where the changes in the spine were detected and the pain experienced with it almost unbearable.

"I think we had 10 surgeons attack it. I had a series of tests in January and by early February I was in the Alfred for 10 days because there was a shadow on the spine, which made it difficult to target the problem originally."

Lester can thank Dr Paul Lawton for the short-term process of managing the pain at a time of debilitation so intense he couldn't get out of bed. And he can thank Lloyd Williams for getting him in touch with Israel-based neurosurgeon Professor Andrew Kaye to WhatsApp his way through the medical plan.

"It has been a physical challenge obviously as much as a mental one, but I can't thank Leanne enough and I've been lucky to have racing."

The operation left him in an induced come for three days and there have been Ketamine-based hallucinations that still haunt him but that he openly talks about.

"The ketamine is to take the pain away, but it become like a paranoia and it's like you responded in exactly the opposite way to what it should be doing for you. I know one day I rang my mates and were telling them they were knocking me off, when they were only trying to help me. I don't want to be going through that again." Lester said.

"The rehab has started with physio on the back, simple things like stretching, sitting and standing up, and pedalling three kilometres on a moped."

Lester does acknowledge the enforced break from his regular duties and medical expenses has eaten into life's kitty but he is looking forward to getting back to the track, which he hopes may be Memsie Stakes day, August 27.

And the familiar sight of Lester on his scooter, he's been using one (well three of them, even one that Luke Currie seconded after winning on Makybe Diva at Flemington and ran it to ground in the Flemington members) over the last 20 years for mobility, will be upgraded by a new power wheelchair, allowing him a little more elevation to look friends and fans more in the eye.

"That is one thing that has been very humbling," Lester said. "The messages, hundreds of them, not just from people I know, or vaguely know but people who have found my number and texted me.

"I think I have been true to what I have known from the start in this game, it's never been about me, it was the horse first and then the punting and I've been very fortunate for the opportunities I have been given and if that means that people have gravitated to me over time for the way I do things I am very flattered."

So, if he tips In The Boat or Stern Idle, or How's The Serenity, The Admiral or Seberate in Perth with his great mate Simon Miller, horses he has interests in at the moment, he will do so because he thinks they will win on form, not because they have been improved by his ownership.

That's the Deane Lester way. Keep defying them, Deano!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Second Chance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2022 at 1:52pm
Quite extraordinary.  What strength of character this man must have in the face of his debilitating physical challenges.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote VOYAGER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2022 at 5:54pm
While I am sure Deane gets a kick out of backing winners he selects, I can guarantee you that doing the form and getting a good priced winner up that no one else thought was a chance would give him great satisfaction.

The enjoyment for me is actually doing the form and I am sure that because of his situation actually doing the form is the thing that allows Deane to not have to think about his situation.

And I totally agree with all the posts here, he is one of the best wagering influencers around. 
Remember, it might take intelligence to be smart , but it takes experience to be wise
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