Jockey Jonathan Riddell is hoping that he can shed his label as a jumps jockey before his Melbourne spring campaign partnering flat racer Jimmy Choux.
Riddell felt that his successes aboard Jimmy Choux this past autumn were overshadowed by his long career as a jumps jockey.
“It was annoying me when it sort of kept coming up, I was getting sick of it really,” Riddell said.
“It came to a point where it didn’t seem to matter what I did on the flat.”
Riddell will finish the current season as one of the top 20 jockeys in New Zealand, sporting an impressive 50 wins.
Only three of these victories were jumps races.
The jockey will end the season as the national top prize money earner, winning $NZ3.2 million aboard his mounts.
Riddell has battled with weight his entire career and is often unable to ride at less than 57 kilograms.
Despite the struggle, Riddle believes that maintaining a healthy weight has allowed him to prolong his racing career.
“I miss a few winners because of (being too heavy) but I’m happy with that,” Riddell said.
“It’s probably helped me stay in the game a bit longer than I might have.”
With such an exciting spring carnival ahead of him aboard Rosehill Guineas winner Jimmy Choux, Riddell is set to be selective in him upcoming rides in jumps races.
Riddell will only ride for Paul Nelson’s leading jumps stable throughout the winter so as to not put his planned Cox Plate ride aboard Jimmy Choux in any jeopardy.
“I’m basically only riding Paul’s horses,” Riddell said.
“I might even be more selective than I was last year – there’s a bigger picture later in the year.
“Jimmy Choux is a dream horse to have but I know that you can’t put all your eggs in one basket either.”