Tim Bell could be excused for feeling pretty chuffed with himself at the moment.
He holds a massive lead in the Brisbane apprentice standings and overall he sits third among some big name rivals.
He’s also the stable rider for Patinack Farm and he has no shortage of good horses flowing through from the Tinkler operation.
However with 35 city wins for the season and the major Brisbane carnival to come Bell still feels he’s not up to the mark.
“I’ve had a re-think about where I’m at and I now believe I wasn’t putting in enough effort,” Bell said.
“I think things may have come a bit easy to me.”
There’s an argument about whether things came ‘easy’ given the amount of work he’s put in but certainly things have come fast.
Originally under the guidance of Sue Grills at Tamworth Bell was a sensation around the local districts.
It took him no time at all to go to city level and his success on trips to Brisbane is what saw him score a full time gig with Patinack Farm.
All this and he’s still only 18 but you wouldn’t know it by the way he speaks.
“The job with Patinack was a big thing in terms of getting a guarantee of good rides,” he said.
“Looking back now I feel it was the quality of the horses which improved rather than my riding quality.”
He hasn’t just identified a problem either, Bell has taken noticeable steps to try and get things the way he wants them.
“I had a talk with a few people I respect and decided to do a few things differently,” he said.
“I’ve been spending a lot more time watching replays. Not just of my rides but other races as well.”
His style has changed and so too his gear in a bid to feel as comfortable as possible when he’s in the saddle.
“Balance is just about the most important asset a rider can have and I feel comfortable riding with slightly longer irons,” he said.
It’s easy to see that it’s not just the riding ability of Bell that attracted Patinack Farm, he’s got plenty of talent off the race track as well.