You could forgive jockey Andrew Adkins for feeling a little dirty on the world given the time misadventure, both from riding and more mundane daily activities, kept him out of the saddle over the last 18 months.
Add to that scenario being thrown into the weird world of having to compete for a limited number of rides each meeting with 20 or so of the best riders in the country, due to the coronavirus restrictions, and it might seem all too hard.
But Adkins is a competitor and took a refreshing approach and the results speak for themselves as he’s booted home city winners at $20, $151, $31, $21 and $6.50 in the past few weeks.
That dedication to getting the best out of what you’ve got has surely led to him securing eight rides at Rosehill on Saturday including the chance to double up on his recent impressive winners Attention Run and Monegal.
As restrictions on jockeys ease from July 1, Adkins is hoping the momentum – something he’s had trouble building through his all too frequent injury enforced breaks – will continue.
“They haven’t been the best of the bunch but they are running well and winning so that’s a bonus,’’ Adkins said.
“You can’t get filthy you’re not getting a ride or if you’re on a 100/1 shot. You have to respect what you’ve got, work with it and give your best ride.
“I think that’s what paid off for me, I’m not sour that I’m not getting the best rides. I accept that I came back at a difficult time and I’m dealing with it that way.’’
Explosive first-up winner Attention Run is the early favourite ($4.40) with TAB to hand Adkins a well deserved Listed win in the $120,000 Iron Jack WJ McKell Cup (2000m).
The Kris Lees-trained mare was responsible for a slick last 200m of 11.96 at the end of 1800m, a time that was two lengths faster than anything in the race, and Adkins said he felt there was only upside to her.
“Being first-up over 1800m it was quite the effort. Kris Lees brings his horses to the races ready to go and to run 1800m out as strong as she did that shows,’’ Adkins said.
“She’s only going to improve off the run and with the step up to 2000m, with some freshness still in her legs, second-up she should run a huge race.’’
Adkins admits Monegal took him a little by surprise with her first-up win over 1400m two weeks ago and will tackle the TAB Long May We Play Handicap (1500m) with more confidence.
The four-year-old, $16 with TAB, was the only horse in that race to break 35 seconds for the last 600m (34.69) and ran right up to trainer Theresa Bateup’s expectation.
“It was as strong as you get and she ran away with it which was quite impressive,’’ he said.
“Being first-up and a 2000m horse I thought she might need it but she won really well.
“Teresa was quite bullish about her first-up, she was confident she would run that sort of race. If she brings that to the table again she will be very competitive.’’
And after riding the Joe Pride-trained Kylease into fourth place at Rosehill two weeks ago he’s somewhat bullish the mare has now worked her more conservative racing style out.
So Adkins warns to give her another chance, at $21, in the Hyland EOFY Sale Handicap (1200m).
“She’s been ridden a bit quieter these days and it’s taking her a bit of time to change her ways,’’ he said.
“She’s probably been a bit confused but it was a good run the other day and she finished off well.
“I’m confident going in with her, she’s drawn one again, she’s going to get the run of the race and she’ll be top three for sure.’’
Given his results at double figure odds of late it’s worth noting Adkins also rides Rockarosa ($34), Wichita Warrior ($10), Pelonomena ($13), Red Hot Chillypins ($61) and Smartedge ($23).
– Racing NSW