A fit and healthy Michael Walker is looking forward to winding back the clock when he links with Lindsay Park for two Group One rides at Flemington. Walker was once a big part of the Lindsay Park operation riding work and trials, travelling the Victorian countryside racking up winners.
He was rewarded with Group One victories aboard Spillway in the 2015 Australian Cup and later Criterion in the Caulfield Stakes.
Injuries and subsequent operations saw opportunities dry up at Lindsay Park, but Walker's back in the Group One fold on Saturday.
"Through the injuries a lot of guys got into the position I was in before with the stable," Walker said.
"But it's good to be back and part of their team for this weekend.
"Everything they line up these days is hard to beat."
He partners longshots Harlem ($31) in the Australian Cup and So Si Bon ($19) in the Newmarket Handicap, but Walker is not concerned.
As Walker pointed out Spillway wasn't one of the fancied runners in the Australian Cup.
Harlem finished a first-up second to $2.80 Australian Cup favourite Gailo Chop in the Carlyon Cup on February 10 before running eighth to that galloper in the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield two weeks later.
"His first-up run was really good but his second up run, the way I look at it, was too bad to be true," Walker said.
"There's no doubt David, Ben (Hayes) and Tom (Dabernig) will have the horse in good fighting order and have him ready to go."
With 52kg in the Newmarket, Walker has worked hard to ride So Si Bon, but said it's a part of the job to get those opportunities in big races.
Since undergoing back and hip operations last year Walker says he's never felt better, or stronger.
"In my mind I think that I'm riding better than ever," Walker said.
"A few other people around me think that as well, but you need the horses underneath you.
"Hopefully I can give these a good ride and then get some more good rides which is very hard to do these days because of the calibre and class of jockey that we have in Melbourne.
"I think they're the best in Australasia and it's brilliant to be riding against them everyday."