Group One-winning jockey Ryan Wiggins return from a stint in Mauritius has received a timely boost with his booking for the handy Frespanol at Doomben.
Frespanol, a last-start winner at the track, takes on a strong field in Saturday’s Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m) as he prepares for the summer feature races.
Trainer Tony Gollan was quick to book Wiggins for Frespanol when several other jockeys turned down the ride.
“Ryan is very experienced and he will be doing more riding for me this summer,” Gollan said.
Wiggins has ridden nearly 900 career winners including the 2014 BTC Cup on Famous Seamus.
He was among the top 10 jockeys in Brisbane for the past five seasons before taking up his contract in April for his second term in Mauritius,.
Wiggins was at trackwork this week and was quick to re establish his connections.
“You only ride on Saturdays over there and the weight scale is higher so my weight is up a bit,” Wiggins said.
“But I am working hard to get my weight back down to 54kg. I rode some trackwork for Chris Munce and Rob Heathcote and I was keen to go anywhere for a ride this weekend.”
Wiggins said he had enjoyed riding in Mauritius where race meetings still attracted 10,000 to 15,000 fans.
“There is only one track and it has a sharp uphill straight. It keeps you on your toes as a jockey” he said.
“I had a good season riding 16 winners. Most of the horses are from South Africa but there are some Australian-bred horses.”
Brad Pengelly and Steve Arnold were the other Australian jockeys in Mauritius.
Pengelly returned with Wiggins while Arnold is locked in a battle for the Mauritius premiership which finishes this week.