Dual Doomben Cup winner Scenic Shot could be the boost jockey Shane Scriven needs to restart his illustrious career in the saddle.
Scriven will be having his first race ride in almost ten months when he is legged up onto Scenic Shot in the Listed Spotless Members’ Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday, a race the pair won last year and will be carrying the same weight, 61 kilos.
Scriven hasn’t ridden in a race since the middle of June at the Ipswich Cup meeting as a result of a three month suspension he incurred for stealing another jockey’s whip in a close finish at Ipswich last April, but the time away from the racetrack lengthened considerably due to his struggle his return to a reasonable riding weight.
He was originally sent out for five months but was reduced after a lengthy appeal process enabling him to team up with Scenic Shot to record their second Doomben Cup win in May.
Scriven has always had to battle with his weight but has managed to successfully return to the racetrack after several stints on the sideline mainly due to injury.
He shies away from the word comeback, saying that he has never retired and his time away from the track has been enforced layoffs.
“I’ve never made a comeback,” Scriven said.
“They’ve all been situations where I’ve returned from injury or suspensions. When I retire it’ll be for life.”
“My last ride was in the Ipswich Cup and it’s been very tough getting back.”
“Had it not been for Scenic Shot I would have said `stuff it all’.
“But when it’s time to give it away I’ll be the one to make that decision, no-one else.”
Scriven makes no secret that this ‘comeback’ has been tough and at times it has been a real struggle to get back to riding weight after ballooning out to 74 kilos.
He had planned to return for the Magic Millions Carnival at the Gold Coast in January but by Christmas it was clear that his body wouldn’t be ready.
“I started riding work back in September and it’s taken a lot longer than I ever thought it would,” Scriven said.
“I had six weeks off following the disqualification and then I started my own program to get my weight down.”
“I was 74 kilos and got my weight down to 64 kilos and the plan was to aim for the Magic Millions.”
“But a week before Christmas I was still 64 kilos so I was no hope.”
Scriven’s New Year’s resolution was to work harder to get the weight off and after following a stricter diet and a tough training program, he is ready to start again on one of his favourite horses, Scenic Shot.
But Scriven knows he still has a long way to go to get down to a good riding weight and with the ongoing help from his personal trainer Josh Mill, feels he will be back into full swing soon when the scales hit 57 kilos.
“I’m on a special diet of 500 calories a day,” he said.
“I have two meals a day of fish or chicken and fruit and vegetables and any snacking is apple.”
Trainer Daniel Morton is aiming Scenic Shot for his third Doomben Cup victory and is hoping for a fairy tail ending if the nine year old could salute for another Group 1 win with his old mate Scriven on board.