Winning return for Ben Melham at Sandown

Ben Melham could not have asked for a better return to the saddle when he guided Delicious Tycoon to an all-the-way win at Sandown.

Injured when he tumbled passing the winning post at Morphettville on Adelaide Cup Day in March, Melham had been back riding for only three weeks following a lengthy suspension.

Melham was one of the Airbnb five that were rubbed out for varying amounts of times following a party during COVID lockdown in Victoria last August.

Dealt a five-month ban for that misdemeanour, Melham hit the ground running upon his return in February, riding 12 winners from 37 mounts before his fall at Morphettville.

Melham suffered a fracture shoulder blade and broken collarbone in the fall and said post his victory in the Ladbrokes Easy Form Handicap (1600m) on Wednesday that he was back to 100 per cent fitness.

“It’s been a bit of a process but I’m back to 100 per cent now,” Melham said.

“Lots of rehab, a lot of core training as well as a bit of weight conditioning, but it’s good to be back a winner, for sure.

“You don’t come back until you’re relatively fit as it’s a tough caper to come back to.

“I’ve had a long time off over the last couple of years and I’ll improve as I go along, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”

While Melham had ridden the Matt Laurie-trained Delicious Tycoon in work and trials, Wednesday’s victory was the first time he had been aboard her on race day.

“She loved these conditions,” Melham said.

“She can over travel in her races a little bit, so we had to be careful leading on her, but she relaxed really well and dug deep to win pretty well in the end.”

Melham’s other ride on Wednesday, Poised To Rein in the Tile Importer Handicap (1300m) was scratched, while he is booked for five mounts at Cranbourne on Thursday.

His only ride at Caulfield on Saturday is in the afternoon’s feature, the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes, (1200m) in which he partners William Thomas.

About RS NewsWire

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