Pedalling for victory in Warwick in the sport of kings
RACING: "Have saddle, will travel” is the word from Grafton jockey Craig Franklin, who will be in Warwick for the St Mary's Race Day this Saturday.
Franklin will head to Warwick to ride for Grafton trainer Luke Berger, who nominated two horses, and his manager has been on the phone to other trainers to secure more rides on the six-event program.
Three months ago, Franklin was 61kg and restricted to riding horses with plenty of weight.
"My wife Kristie bought me an exercise bike at Christmas and I ride 40km a day,” he said.
"The weight has just fallen off and I am a comfortable 54kg.
"The lower weight has opened up a lot of doors.
"Have saddle, will travel.”
Franklin said in the days when he was 61kg, trainers with horses with a lot of weight often wanted an apprentice who could claim an allowance.
"Being a jockey is the greatest job in the world when you don't have to waste or watch what you eat and drink,” he said.
"I can have a steak and beer like everyone else, and when I do, I appreciate it.”
He has ridden a lot down the years for Murwillumbah trainer Matt Dunn and Brett Bellamy, who is based at Coffs Harbour.
The crowd at Saturday's race meeting at Allman Park is expected to be boosted by a large contingent from St Mary's School which has secured eight sponsors for the six-event card.
Up to 10 bookmakers and the TAB will take bets for the race meeting.
After Saturday's race meeting, Warwick Turf Club will gear up for a sponsored day on April 1, Ergon Energy day on May 13 and Killarney Cup on June 17.