Late last year talented apprentice Tim McIntosh contemplated retirement, tired of the battle of the bulge and drained from daily wasting.
At 19, the Muswellbrook youngster was at the cross roads of his career.
Enter Tamworth trainer Leon Davies and former champion apprentice Cody Morgan.
“I was having a bad run, going to give the game away. Leon was the one who talked me into continuing,” McIntosh said.
” He told me to stick it out, things will get better.
“To Leon’s credit he was right. Leon and Cody have been great supporters of mine. I can’t thank them enough.
“If I hadn’t listened I’d probably be driving a truck in the mines somewhere.”
McIntosh will be in action aboard Prussian Secret for round two of the $15,000 Armidale Cup (1900m) with topweight Prussian Secret, a $7000 tried horse purchase and the winner of 10 starts and $154,400 prizemoney, in sparkling form.
The Cup was controversially cancelled on March 21 due to a section of the track being deemed unsafe following a fall in an earlier race. The remainder of the program consisting of shorter events continued.
Since beginning his career with his uncle, Pat Farrell, McIntosh has booted home 104 winners.
Now with Mark Mason at Tamworth, the growing youngster, who struggled to ride at 56.5kg last year, now rides comfortably at 55.5kg.
Prussian Secret, initially weighted on 59kg, rises 2kg to 61kg tomorrow.
Subsequent to the initial handicap, the six-year-old gelding scored an emphatic 2- length win in the Wellington Cup (1700m) on March 27 which followed his Quirindi Cup (1600m) success second up on February 25.
McIntosh has had 10 rides on Prussian Secret for seven wins.
“The 61 kilos shouldn’t worry him, to date he’s managed to carry big weights and the horse is going real good,” McIntosh said.
“He’s been a terrific horse for me. He’s a cruisey horse to ride, you can put him anywhere, he travels and relaxes under you.
“When he won the Quirindi Cup he was second up from 1200 metres to a mile (1600m).
“We didn’t want to do too much early and I let him settle back. I knew he had a good turn of foot. It was a matter of it opening up and it did at the right time. Prussian Secret sprinted very quickly to win.
“At Wellington, a funny track, I popped him out at the 900 metres, he rolled forward, got on the leader’s back and let down quickly.
“He does look well placed Monday.”