A fitter and stronger Michael Walker has guided heavily supported Alward to an easy victory at Flemington.
The win of Alward in Saturday’s VRC Member Doris Theuma Handicap was Walker’s first at Flemington since an injury enforced lay-off in February that required the jockey to undergo back and hip surgery.
Walker made a low-key return to race riding in July and has ridden six winners in the past week.
I’m fit, I’m hungry and I’m stronger than ever and I’ve just got to keep riding well,” Walker said.
“I’m happy with the way things are going right now but I need to prove to people I’m not going to break.”
Walker got down to 54.5kg to partner Alward on Saturday after fielding a call from trainer Chris Waller’s racing manager, Charlie Duckworth.
The jockey said he intended to riding at 54kg during the spring carnival.
“We’re still a bit off the carnival but I did it today because Charlie and Chris said it would win,” Walker said.
“When a champion trainer like Chris says something like that, you never doubt them.”
Alward’s victory provided the Waller stable with its third winner of the afternoon.
Backed from $7 to $5, Alward won by three lengths in front of Electric Fusion ($51), with $2.90 favourite Crocodile Rock a head away in third.