Michael Walker is looking forward to riding pain-free as he prepares for his return to the saddle.
The jockey, who hasn’t ridden in a race since November, underwent a hip replacement operation late last year.
He heads to Flemington on Thursday to ride gallops for the Lindsay Park stable of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig before competing in a jumpout session on Friday.
While a date for his return to race riding has yet to be finalised, Walker is excited he will be riding without pain for the first time in his career.
“I’ve never ridden a horse without pain,” Walker told Melbourne radio station RSN.
“I’m excited to see what difference it might make to my riding.
“If I can get on a horse and get off a horse and not feel any pain, that will be a big thing.
“I feel really good but the only downfall is muscle wastage in my thighs.”
Walker said he hoped to ride for another 10 years after undergoing a hip operation just eight weeks ago.
He said the average age for a hip replacement was 51 but he required one at 31 due to wear and tear on his body.
Walker’s weight ballooned to 70kg after his operation but he has trimmed down to 58kg in preparation for his return.
He was cleared by his surgeon on Tuesday to resume riding.