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Group One-winning jockey Darryl “Digger” McLellan has taken the first successful step to a return to race riding.

McLellan has not ridden in a race since a fall at Newcastle in 2011 but has been riding trackwork at the Gold Coast.

He rode Sugarparma to win a barrier trial for trainer Toby Edmonds at the Gold Coast this week.

McLellan, 45, has had a chequered past but was regarded as one of the best light weight jockeys in NSW.

Chief steward Allan Reardon said McLellan was granted a licence by Queensland authorities several weeks ago.

“He is able to ride trackwork and in trials and he will be eligible to ride in races when he gets his weight down,” Reardon said.

McLellan has ridden more than 1000 winners including the 2002 Sydney Cup on Henderson Bay.

Edmonds has indicated McLellan will initially ride for the stable at provincial meetings when he is ready.

 
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