Brandon Stockdale is hopeful his first metropolitan double is the catalyst he needs to take his career to the next level.
Stockdale began riding around the same time as fellow apprentices Beau Mertens, Ben Allen and Ben Thompson but is the only one of the four left with a 3kg city claim.
He landed his first city winner aboard Oncebittentwiceshy at Sandown in April 2015 but had to wait until last Saturday at Moonee Valley for his first city double, and his 15th winner in town.
The apprentice has landed six rides at Flemington on Saturday as he looks to boost his tally.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Stockdale.
He fell from Oncebittentwiceshy at Mornington in April last year suffering a broken shoulder blade which was the least of his problems.
“The fall knocked me around a bit,” Stockdale said.
“I was knocked out for five minutes and when they got to me I wasn’t breathing.
“I fractured my shoulder blade in the fall. I remember waking up in hospital but I don’t remember the fall.
“When I went home I remember the first morning waking up with a migraine.
“I spent a few days at home and then I ended back in hospital as I apparently was talking to my cousin but saying some crazy things and feeling dizzy.”
Then there was a hip problem earlier this year which again sidelined the 18-year-old but which is well and truly behind him.
Now it’s time to settle down and ride some winners utilising his claim while he’s looking forward to potentially riding for Darren Weir in coming weeks.
“I’ve only had two rides for Weiry before, so coming into winter with the claim and a few of the other boys nearly outriding their claims it might be a good winter,” he said.
Two of Stockdale’s rides on Saturday are the unbeaten Wilde Gem in the Barwon South West Region Handicap and Tasmanian Step The Pedal who is out to extend her winning streak to six in the Loddon Mallee Region Handicap.
“I haven’t sat on Wilde Gem but he looks a nice horse,” Stockdale said.
“It looks a strong race but he’s had two starts for two wins.
“Step The Pedal is a consistent horse and never far from the money.
“She should be around the money.”