Comeback jockey Darryl “Digger” McLellan hopes to step up his workload this week after making a return to the saddle after nearly six years.
A Group One winner, McLellan had four rides at the Gold Coast last week but did not ride on Saturday because the meeting had metropolitan status and he is restricting himself to provincial racing for the time being.
McLellan had not ridden in a race since being badly injured in a fall at Newcastle in December 2011.
He has been back riding trackwork and in trials mainly for Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds.
“I have known Toby for a long time and he has stuck by me. It takes a while to get your eye back in and the more I can ride the better,” McLellan said.
“At this stage I want to remain at the Gold Coast for riding so I can get my timing completely back.”
McLellan has his weight under control and can walk around at 52kg..
“I have been working around the stables at Toby’s place and it has helped with my fitness,” he said.
McLellan is 45 but takes heart from the success of the older brigade of jockeys in Brisbane in recent years including premiership winner Jeff Lloyd.
“A lot of the top jockeys here are over 40 so it means the older jockeys get plenty of support,” he said.
McLellan has ridden more than 1000 winners including the 2002 Sydney Cup on Henderson Bay.