He may be burning the candle at both ends, but Michael Travers is enjoying a golden run as both a trainer and jockey.
The Wagga horseman, who created history back in April when becoming the first NSW-based trainer/jockey to win a race when guiding Estaverdi to victory at Gundagai, has since gone on to expand his stable and ride plenty more winners.
On August 8, Travers prepared and rode Mathrin to victory at Wagga, with the four-year-old breaking through at start number 12 when winning the 1200m Maiden.
Over the weekend, Travers booted home five more winners, again winning on one of his own at Narrandera, helping Scorch The Turf to victory in the 1400m maiden.
The veteran hoop then went on to ride a treble, winning on the Martin Stein trained Dismayed in the 1600m Class Three Handicap and the Rick Freyer trained Vela in the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap.
“It’s always good to get a winner and you take what you can get,” Travers said.
Travers also rode two seconds at Narrandera, finishing runner up on his own charge, Blessed Award, who he believed was his best chance before going on to ride three winners.
“To be really honest, I was very confident in the first race, and he got beat,” Travers laughed.
“I didn’t really know what to make of my other horses, but we ended up having a good day and that is generally the way it goes in racing.”
Riding a good winner for Freyer seemed fitting for Travers, who has received a lot of support from the stable in recent times.
“Rick has been good at throwing me rides recently,” Travers said.
“He seems to be building a strong team and it is good to get winners for both of them.”
Travers kept up his good form at Moruya on Sunday, winning on the Anita Walder trained Big Steve in the 1010m Maiden and the Lynda Bundy prepared The Boomerang in the 2000m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
Travers was pleased with the recent success, but he conceded it was catching up on him at times, with the rigours of being a full-time trainer and jockey no easy feat.
“It’s exhausting. They are very, very long days. Its grinding on me, but I get a bit of help now and that makes my life easier,” Travers said.
“Race days are hectic and I’m always trying to get help and sometimes I can’t, because other trainers have their own work to do, so organising a race day, it can be very tricky.
“At Narrandera the other day, we got there an hour and a half before the first and stayed until an hour and a half after the last, so my horses had a long day waiting for me to finish riding.”
There is no rest for the wicked either, with Travers setting himself for a big day at Albury on Tuesday, where he has six rides, including four of his own.
Last-start winner Mathrin will lead his stable’s charge in the 1000m Class One Handicap, while maiden gallopers Delcoff, Milonia and Somova are all looking to break through.
“We just have to race them where we can be competitive and we have some nice horses coming through,” Travers said.
“That first one at Narrandera (Blessed Award), he has some wins in him and the two fillies (Milonia and Somova) that are starting at Albury, they have nice little futures.”