JOCKEY Mick Stevens has been taken to Hervey Bay Hospital with a fractured wrist after falling from his horse Just As Hot in the opening heat of the Torbanlea Picnic Races.

Thousands of spectators were stunned silent after watching the jockey hit the turf hard just metres after steering the eight-year-old gelding to victory.

Just As Hot's Taroon trainer Rebecca Knudsen must now find a new jockey to ride in the $15,000 Elstons Partners Gold Rush final.

Just As Hot completed the 400m heat sprint in 21 seconds to finish ahead of Fair Dinkum, who also qualifies for the final at 4pm.

The second heat saw Another Jet storm home to win with Bruce a full length behind in second.

The third heat saw Scrubby Creek, piloted by Gemma Dudgeon for Stevens, past the finishing post first.

However, a protest lodged from the connections of Monsheree and Flying Hemp was upheld.

Stewards deliberated for five minutes before ruling Scrubby Creek had veered of its course and cut off by horses.

The heat win was awarded to Monsheree, a seven-year old thoroughbred from Childers, while Flying Hemp ran second.

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