Andrew Adkins earns G1 opportunities

Andrew Adkins is finally in a good place.

Having spent six months recovering from horrific injuries suffered in a race fall, he worked his way back to health, then fitness and finally a return to race riding on the eve of the autumn carnival.

Bu it was a tough time of year to come back on the scene in Sydney and opportunities were limited.

“I came back from my injury in the autumn, which was a hard time,” Adkins said.

“I’ve had a lot of stops and starts, which is the hardest part. Momentum is key in race riding and being a jockey, and I haven’t really had that until now.”

Through sheer hard work, tenacity and an unwavering belief that his fortunes would eventually turn, Adkins finds himself booked to ride a brace of genuine chances in two of Sydney’s most prestigious spring Group 1s.

He will partner the Mark Newnham-trained Harmony Rose in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) and lightly-raced import Zeyrek for Hawkes Racing in the Metropolitan (2400m).

Hawkes Racing have been long-time supporters of the young jockey and he hopes to repay them with victory aboard Zeyrek.

The horse has been crunched in betting, firming to $9.50 on Thursday after as much as $51 was offered.

Holding nominations for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, Zeyrek’s two French victories were over 2400 metres and he steps up to that journey for the first time in Australia after finishing a solid last-start fourth to She’s Ideel in the Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).

“He’s exciting. These are the sort of races that are going to show what his true ability is,” Adkins said.

“He’s a big, strong horse, a great mover and his overseas form has been over a distance.

“He probably got a little bit tired last start, so having that run under his belt will bring him on a lot and he’ll be peaking third-up here. It all maps perfect for him.”

Adkins is also going into the Epsom with a positive mindset despite Harmony Rose drawing the second outside barrier in the 17-horse field.

With likely leaders Riodini (15) and Ashman (17) to either side, Adkins says the mare is drawn around horses that can take her forward and she has the tactical speed to find a good position.

“I think it will actually work out alright and I won’t be panicking from there,” he said.

“Her second-up form is really good and she’s got form behind some quality racehorses.

“She deserves her chance to be here for sure.”

The same could be said about Adkins.

About RS NewsWire

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