James Winks knows talent and desire don’t necessarily produce results in racing.
The jockey has won Group One races in both Australia and Hong Kong but his season could depend on two rides at Saturday’s Sandown meeting.
A lack of opportunities has denied Winks a Melbourne win since November last year, convincing him the local scene is as tough a place as any to secure mounts.
“At the moment, I would say Melbourne is harder than Hong Kong,” Winks said.
Winks admits a four-month break harmed his cause but the 31-year-old says his young son has helped him refocus on his profession as he travels Victoria to find winning rides.
Winks says his preparedness to drive to Mornington created the chance to impress again aboard the Matt Laurie-trained Felarof in the Sensational Springvale Plate.
Felarof showed Winks his talent in a comfortable maiden win at Echuca on March 8.
“I don’t like spruiking them but I think he’s pretty exciting,” Winks said.
“I think he’s the one I have been waiting for. I haven’t ridden a really good one in a while.”
Winks will also ride Spending for his former boss Danny O’Brien in the Smart Track Australia Handicap.
O’Brien provided Winks with three of his four Group One winners including his first, Absolut Glam.
Spending scored at Flemington with Winks aboard in January 2013 but has gone winless in her 10 subsequent starts.
The mare pleased Winks with her work at Flemington on Tuesday morning but the rider knows Spending must perform on Saturday to aid his bid for regular city opportunities.
“If I ride a winner for Danny O’Brien, I could have six rides for him next week but if I don’t, I might not have any rides from him for a month.
“That’s the way it is so you can’t let it worry you.”
Felarof and Spending are $6 and $5.50 chances respectively while Winks also rides outsider Hot Mama.