While Corey Brown looks back on his stint in Singapore fondly, the champion jockey can’t wait to restart his career in the cut-throat world of Sydney racing.
The Melbourne Cup-winning rider is preparing for his first Sydney meeting at Rosehill on Saturday since calling time on his Singapore stretch which started in April 2014.
“I loved it. I went there for a week on a working holiday and ended up spending a bit more than 3-1/2 years over there,” Brown told AAP.
His daughters’ desire to finish secondary school in Australia convinced Brown to return to Sydney and try to regain his spot in one of the world’s most competitive racing jurisdictions.
“It was just time to come home and settle down,” Brown said.
Brown was one of Sydney’s top riders, winning the 2001-02 Sydney ‘ premiership and the 2009 Melbourne Cup aboard Shocking.
He continued his success in Singapore, riding 251 winners including the 2014 Group One Singapore Gold Cup and finishing runner-up to Manoel Nunes in the 2015 jockeys’ title.
The 40-year-old admits he found it hard to watch Australian racing while he was away.
“You try to push it out of your mind a little bit because you do feel homesick when you’re over there and your mates are kicking the big winners home,” Brown said.
He made regular visits home for Group One rides, showing he was still in trainers’ minds.
While Brown feels sorry for James McDonald, who is appealing his 18-month suspension over a betting charge, his absence and the lowering of the minimum handicap weight to 53kg are two factors which could help him reclaim his place in Sydney.
“I’ve been lucky in a way that they’ve dropped the weights to the 53kg. There’s a lot of boys that can’t ride that weight and I can do it comfortably,” Brown said.
Brown has been booked for a handful of rides including the Michael Freedman-trained two-year-old filly Teaspoon in the Group Three Widden Stakes.
Brown is looking forward to rekindling his association with Freedman who was a successful trainer in Singapore before relocating to Sydney.
He will also team up with leading Sydney trainers Chris Waller and Peter and Paul Snowden.
“I’d love to get back to where I was before I left Sydney but it’s not going to be an overnight thing,” Brown said.
“It’s going to be hard work. Head down and bum up and ride as much work as I can.”