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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
An open mind has Jye McNeil beginning 2022 in unfamiliar territory leading Melbourne's jockey premiership

Though the 2021-22 racing season has yet to reach the halfway mark, Jye Mcneil made a positive start to the calendar year on Saturday with a winning double at Flemington.

That pair took his season tally of victories in Melbourne to 35 and extended his lead in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership to eight wins ahead of Damien Oliver and Damian Lane.

If the markets have it right, McNeil is even-money chance to take out the season prize and if you are willing to side with the possibility of him remaining there at the end of July, then you’d be sharing a similar mindset to the 2020 Melbourne Cup-winning jockey himself.

“My form fell away a little bit after the Cup so naturally you start to think that it was a bit of a distraction,” McNeil said.

“I feel I’ve moved on from that now. I’m riding in good form and the results are showing that which is good.

“I was still coming to the races and riding well but I just didn’t have the results.

“Whatever it was, we’ve got through that lull.

Following the meeting at Sandown on Monday and after 256 rides in Melbourne over the past five months, horses ridden by Jye McNeil have finished in the first four placings at a rate just shy of 50 per-cent.

“Winning a premiership isn’t something I really thought about so much but I suppose after the weekend that I had and the position that it has put me in, it has become a bit of a topic.

“With it being a topic it is in your mind but I’m not really thinking about it too much.

“Good support from good stables and building those relationships is what it is all about.”

McNeil heads to Sandown on Wednesday and takes the rides on the market favourites in the first two races.

Duchy Of Savoy is rated $1.70 in the Ive Print Plate (1000m) and The Economist at $2.40 in the Ladbroke It Plate (1400m).

 
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