A winner at Flemington has got Ben Melham off the mark in his comeback from a three-month injury lay-off as the star jockey builds towards what he hopes can be a successful spring carnival.
Melham suffered fractures to a wrist in a fall at The Valley in March, meaning the multiple Group One-winning jockey was on the sidelines while a host of feature races were run in Australia during the autumn and early winter.
He missed out on the ride on star sprinter Santa Ana Lane who won the $2.5 million Group One T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April.
Melham made his return to race riding at Sandown on June 26 and had had four seconds and a third from 12 rides before guiding Not A Single Cent to victory in the Mahogany Challenge Final (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
“I had four seconds before the win so it was good to get a winner,” Melham said.
“I haven’t had that many rides but I’m still just a bit restricted what I can ride with my weight at the minute.
“The wrist is as good as gold. It’s 100 per cent.
“That’s why I came back a bit earlier just to make sure I was up and going before the spring.”
Melham said would be doing plenty of trackwork along with gym work and watching his diet over the next month or so with a view to the spring carnival.
“Just grind for the next month, basically,” he said.
“But obviously the harder you work the more opportunities come your way. And I’m keen to get back into it.
“Certainly missing Santa Ana Lane and a couple of other decent horses makes you probably more hungry and more determined when you get back.”
Melham has four rides at the Pakenham synthetic track meeting on Tuesday.