Comeback jockey Brad Pengelly has picked up two key mounts at Doomben in his first full day back in the Brisbane riding ranks for more than three years.
Pengelly retired from riding in March 2012, but the lure of racing proved too strong and earlier this year he made a comeback.
He had been based in NSW but decided to move to Queensland, where he rode with success in the late 1990s and early 2000s, because of the hotter weather.
After several months riding trackwork, Pengelly’s weight dropped to the point where he was ready to return to competitive riding.
Rather than rush back to the metropolitan area, Pengelly returned on out-of-town tracks in May and has ridden four winners.
“I wanted to get the weight off properly. I have given my body every chance to handle the weight drop,” Pengelly said.
“I am riding 55 kilos on Saturday and I intend to keep my weight there. I have given myself time to get properly fit and be ready for metropolitan racing.”
Pengelly had his first Saturday city ride back at Doomben on Frequendly which was unplaced on Stradbroke Handicap day at Doomben on June 6.
He then drove to the Sunshine Coast where he won on Kariega.
Pengelly has been riding for several leading trainers including Robert Heathcote and he won on Privlaka for the five-times premier mentor two weeks ago.
Heathcote has rewarded Pengelly for his hard work by retaining him on Privlaka in the HLB Mann Judd Handicap (1200m).
“It was a strong win in a mid-week company at his last start and he should measure up to Saturday company,” Pengelly said.
Pengelly has also retained the ride on Carmenere for trainer Brad Herne in the $100,000 Brisbane Town Plate (1350m).
He has ridden Carmenere at both his starts which have produced minor placings at the Sunshine Coast.
“He is a nice horse and I will just have to do my best to get him some cover. A wide barrier from that start isn’t always a major disadvantage,” Pengelly said.