NEIL Middleditch hailed Chris Holder’s powers of recovery after the former Poole captain had made an impressive and welcome return to action.

Fit-again Holder marked his racing comeback with victory in the Jason Crump Classic on Boxing Day and continued his form in the Australian Championship.

Competing in the opening event of the three-round series Down Under, Holder won the B Final at Kurri Kurri on Saturday before finishing runner-up to ex-Poole ace Jason Doyle in the A showdown.

The 26-year-old former world champion made the appearances after a painstaking rehabilitation programme had helped him overcome the multiple injuries he sustained in a horror crash while riding for Pirates at Coventry in July.

And Pirates team boss Middleditch, who managed Holder during the past six seasons at Wimborne Road, is delighted to see the Poole legend back in the saddle.

He told the Daily Echo: “It was a horrendous crash at Coventry and to bounce back is really good. He is working hard and these meetings will get him race fit and ready for next season.

“It was a very nasty injury – one of the worst I had seen for a long time. You have got to have a good mindset when you have crashes like that. Chris has got back up to speed straight away.”

Poole asset Holder has opted not to start the 2014 Elite League campaign but he will be based at his Bearwood home as he competes in Europe and battles for the world title next term.