By Alex Nolan
Victorian jockey Ryan Maloney says he is working hard to get his weight down before he returns to the saddle as Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds’ stable rider.
The 32-year-old has relocated to the Gold Coast where he rode seven horses for Edmonds at Tuesday’s barrier trials.
Maloney and Edmonds teamed up during the Spring Carnival to win the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes with Eptimum, and have since maintained a positive relationship.
Maloney had been riding for recently banned trainer Robert Smerdon, and looked destined to develop a formidable combination with talented gelding Nature Strip, before losing the ride.
“Toby offered me an olive branch which was an opportunity too good to refuse,” Maloney said.
“He is a great trainer and a good bloke with a great team of horses and staff. It’s a lethal combination whenever you put those together.”
The three-times placed Group 1 rider has surprisingly never ridden in Queensland, but has more than 800 career winners spanning 16 years in the saddle, including 95 metropolitan winners in Melbourne.
Maloney looks forward to familiarizing himself with Queensland racing before he recommences riding from August 1, following a four-month suspension.
“I’m just training my ring out now trying to get my weight back down,” he said.
“I’m at 60kg now and I have a month and a half left, as long as I stay off the carbs I will be fine.
“Obviously anywhere you go (to ride) is never easy and you have some very good trainers and jockeys up here so I am 100% focused on the job ahead.”
Edmonds has enjoyed a successful partnership with Queensland’s premier jockey Jeff Lloyd in recent seasons. The pair have combined 301 times in 2017/18 for 58 winners and a further 54 placings.
Lloyd has signaled his intentions to retire from riding at the end of the current season, when he is all but assured of being awarded a third consecutive Brisbane Metropolitan Jockeys’ title.
Maloney will be managed by rider’s agent Glen Courtney.